Parking charge plan re-think to avoid ‘vaccine tax’ as mass centre opens in Kirkcaldy

Fife Council is looking to come up with a new plan after it emerged that thousands of people with appointments for the mass vaccination centre in Kirkcaldy’s former M&S store could have to pay to park.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 6:41 pm

The re-think comes after we revealed the store was being transformed into the region’s biggest mass vaccination centre, and is due to open just days after the local authority brings back parking charges across town.

That could see visitors arriving by car facing a ‘vaccine charge’ as they had to park before going to their appointment .

The council has said it is now exploring “all suitable options” after criticism on social media following our exclusive story.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The new vaccine centre in Kirkcaldy High Street

Many people were critical of the return of charges in light of the vaccination centre opening.

And Councillor Judy Hamilton, Labour, has written to the local authority’s head of transportation - which manages the town’s car parks - asking for the situation to be resolved before people arrive for the first appointments.

She said anyone going to the centre could not be charged.

But determining who has an appointment, and who who is simply visiting the town entre may not be so straight-forward - leaving transportation bosses with a headache.

The department has already revealed a £1.8m shortfall in revenue after parking income collapsed during the pandemic.

Kirkcaldy town centre remains the single biggest driver of revenue.

Scott Blyth, lead consultant, said: “We’re currently exploring suitable options to support the vaccination centre in Kirkcaldy High Street.

“Once plans are in place, details will be made available for visitors to the centre.”

Thank you for reading this article on our free-to-read website. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

Please consider purchasing a subscription to our print newspaper to help fund our trusted, fact-checked journalism.