Plans for Kirkcaldy waterfront revival move forward

An artist's impression of how the Esplanade could look after the latest stage of the plans
An artist's impression of how the Esplanade could look after the latest stage of the plans

The next step in the plans to develop Kirkcaldy’s waterfront is under way.

There’s an agreement to promote traffic orders to make a service road one way and introduce short-stay parking.

Cllr Neil Crooks, chairman of the Kirkcaldy area committee, explained: “The recommendations agreed by councillors is the next milestone for an exciting project that is set to deliver a better-connected waterfront and High Street.”

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The project, which will go out to public consultation, would introduce a new road layout between the Tolbooth Street and High Street junction at the harbour, with the Esplanade being reduced to a single carriageway, two-way road and the service road widened for metered on-street parking. Left and right turns into the service road will be prohibited and disabled and metered parking bays will be introduced.

Raised junctions will be created on the Esplanade at Tolbooth Street and Redburn Wynd, with a toucan crossing on the raised junction south of Redburn Wynd and at a new area linking Adam Smith Close to the waterfront.

Cllr Crooks said that although the Esplanade project already has the backing of the committee, the latest steps reinforce the progress being made on town centre investment. He added: “Now, we need to demonstrate the wealth of activity under way to develop Kirkcaldy into a town centre fit for the future. This venture is part of a much bigger framework to make our town centre more vibrant.”

A contractor will be appointed in a few months’ time with work expected to be completed by summer 2020.

Cllr Judy Hamilton, said: “We are all pleased to see this coming forward. My one concern is that we are in the process of a car parking review in Kirkcaldy and, while it might have been agreed by the project team, it hasn’t been agreed by those doing the review.”

Her concerns were echoed by other members of the committee who questioned introducing parking meters before the outcome of the review. However, after hearing from Phil Clarke, traffic management lead consultant, that the parking meters could be easily moved in future if the review concluded not to have on street charging, the committee agreed to promote the Traffic Regulation Orders.

Fife Council’s policy committee will discuss how to use £4.335m from the Scottish Government’s town centre capital fund next week.