Burntisland harbour fence: Work starts on controversial barrier which blocks public access

Workers have begun to erect a controversial fence around Burntisland harbour, after a long battle by local campaigners to keep the area open to the public.

Thursday, 20th January 2022, 10:11 am
The posts are currently being installed for the fence at Burntisland harbour.
The posts are currently being installed for the fence at Burntisland harbour.

The fence, which is being installed by owners Forth Ports, will mean a much narrower path along the northern side of the harbour towards Burntisland railway station, and will almost entirely lock off the breakwater section of the port.

The area has been popular with walkers, cyclists, anglers, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts for generations, with many using the pathway to reach the end of the harbour to spot seals in the Forth.

Forth Ports said the fence is needed for health and safety, however Burntisland Harbour Access Trust has been formed with a view to potentially buy the land in future if it should go up for sale.

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Generations of people have used the area recreationally.

Critics of Forth Ports’ fence say it is excessive and treats residents of the town with contempt.

A well-attended protest march and rally in November saw a strengthening of local feeling against the fence plans, with hundreds of people taking part in the event.Derek Knox, Forth Ports’ Senior Port Manager for Burntisland said: “With the installation of the new safety fence at the Port of Burntisland now under way, we hope that the people of Burntisland will shortly be able to walk through the port in a safe manner, avoiding the areas of higher risk and helping us to meet our legal obligation to minimise the chance of anyone at the port coming to harm.”