On the bus to get to school while trees are taken down

Councillors Crooks and David Ross at the Muttonhall Path
Councillors Crooks and David Ross at the Muttonhall Path

Fife Council has stepped in to help prevent children having to walk along a busy dual carriageway on their way to school.

Pupils at Capshard are being bussed from the furthest away housing estates to and from school for the next few weeks after a tentative agreement to keep a safe routes to schools path at Meikle Loan open until a new one could be built fell through.

Barratt Homes are building new properties along the route and trees along the route of the path need to be felled because of overhead power cables, requiring the path to be closed for safety reasons.

Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee said: “Despite the best efforts and willingness to cooperate from all parties, it’s disappointing that the opening of the new footpath and the closing of the existing one can’t all take place on November 10 as planned. The issue about working under power lines and the risks associated with that just could not be managed within our collectively agreed time frame.

“I want to thank Barratt Homes, Scottish Power, Scottish Woodlands, Sustrans and all of the many council services who have been organising this behind the scenes. We can only apologise that unfortunately alternative arrangements have had to be put in place for the few weeks to the end of November.”

However some parents say that the bus arrangements don’t suit pupils who have after-school activities.

One parent told the Press: “My daughter has after school dance lessons at the school which are all paid in advance and now I am also having to pay someone to collect her from school and bring her home after these.

“The Council promotes the after school activities for health and wellbeing, but if she does these then she misses out on the transport. It’s not her fault she has been affected by all this rezoning.”

Walk, cycle or scoot to school

Sustrans is to contribute up to £25,000 from the Safer Routes to School Fund for the new path, to encourage walking, cycling and scooting to school.

Before the path can be laid, Scottish Power needs to fell trees along the route because of overhead power lines.

Scottish Power agreed to shut down the power lines on November 11 and 12 to start tree felling next week.

As soon as this is finished, Barratt Homes will be on site to lay the path link for the council.