A petition demanding accessible parking at Kirkcaldy’s Leisure Centre is over halfway to reaching its target.
It aims to generate 500 signatures before being passed on to politicians for action.
Launched on the website Change.org, ‘Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre - Accessible parking needed’ came after more concerns over the chaotic parking problems surrounding the town’s £15m leisure centre.
The building opened in 2013 with minimal parking facilities and an expectation that visitors would use the nearby multi-storey and Esplanade car parks.
Instead, cars have been squeezed round the centre causing major problems, and along the front where there are double yellow lines day and night.
The petition aims for 500 signatures. At the time of going to press it had gained just over 260.
Once it hits its target, the petitioner, who wishes to remain anonymous, plans to hand it to David Torrance MSP.
They started the online campaign after finding it almost impossible to get to the centre.
“I’ve got two small children and I can’t take them as it’s not always convenient to walk and there is nowhere to park,” they said.
“What would be a good idea is to have a system where you park in the multi-storey and have your ticket validated at theleisure centre.
“If they could come up with something like that it would be good as the multi-storey is safe and sheltered.
The petitioner said they were pleased with the response so far.
“I thought that if I felt this way about the parking then I was pretty sure that a lot of other people would too, and I was right.”
Cllr Neil Crooks, chairman of Kirkcaldy area committee, which has agreed to a Traffic Regulation Order which will impose a ‘no waiting at any time’ restriction on the service road around the centre, expressed his concerns about illegal parking around the centre, in particular cars dumped on the slip road which leads to the rear of the building.
Mr Crooks says they have a negative effect on nearby High Street businesses and could also prove to be a danger.
“We cannot risk emergency escape routes being compromised by parked vehicles and the roadway around the leisure centre may also be required for emergency vehicles access in the event of fire,” he said.
“Parking has been a controversial topic for this leisure centre from the offset.”
The irony of trying to sort out the parking problems wasn’t lost on David Torrance MSP.
He was a councillor in the SNP administration which chose the controversial site in the face of strong local opposition as it removed the town’s busiest car park in Tolbooth Street.
Speaking to the Press, Mr Torrance (pictured) said that both the previous and current administrations had failed to address the issue.
And he put forward some possible solutions.
“The spaces that were lost could easily be replaced,” he said.
“I do know that Cllr Carol Lindsay has asked for the current Traffic Regulation Order to remove the double yellow lines at the front of the centre to allow parking there.
“That would give some additional spaces, but they should seriously look at the double lane road along the Esplanade.
“Why don’t they put parking bays side on along one lane? The number of cars you could get in there would be huge - maybe 60 or 70 cars all the way along. That would help solve the problem.”
Mr Torrance suggested a two-hour time limit to allow people to go to the centre.
“It’s an easy solution. It’s something I’ve already asked for and will continue to ask for.”
Mr Torrance said he will now write to Ian B Smith, lead officer of traffic management for mid Fife and ask that he consider the proposals.