New seven-point plan to change parking charges in Kirkcaldy town centre
New plans to tackle Kirkcaldy town centre parking charges are set to be unveiled.
The aim is to make them simpler, and encourage longer stays.
The two councillors behind the proposal, also want to see free parking at some of the smaller car parks - and even the demolition of the eyesore mutli-storey tower blocks on the Esplanade to unlock future development.
The seven-point plan tabled by Alistair Cameron and Neil Crooks will go before Kirkcaldy area committee on Tuesday.
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The Labour duo have taken on board the many consultations over the years, and believe the changes could finally address one of the town’s long-standing issues.
They want to bring in a single all day charge of £2 at identified car parks to encourage people to visit and spend time in the town centre.
Traffic on the pedestrianised zone has also come under their scrutiny with a new plan put up a permanent control facility at the former Burtons’ store, to manage cars and vans entering the area.
And they want all traffic to be routed down Tolbooth Street, creating a plaza opposite Cupcake Coffee where people can meet safely, and more space for outdoor commercial purposes can be created.
They hope the measures will further deter drivers from using the High Street as a rat run - and prompt local businesses to use the open space.
There are no plans to alter the access times for Blue Badge holders.
The councillors also have an eye on the future with the proposal to demolish the twin twin ugly sisters on the waterfront - the two much derided multi-storey car parks which locals have shunned for many years.
Removing the Thistle Street and Esplanade buildings would open up a huge piece of land for development as they sit adjacent to the already demolished old swimming pool which is owned by the Mercat Shopping Centre.
The seven-point plan also proposes scrapping parking charges at the small, and under-used Coal Wynd car parks, and a change to ensure the timing of on-street charges and controlled parking restrictions are standardised across the town centre.
Neil Crooks, convener of Kirkcaldy area committee, said; “We think this is a common sense approach, and it will allow the committee to put forward its views.
“People have been telling us the charges were complicated which meant they could be caught out with a ticket - we are trying to simplify them.”
Mr Cameron admitted the plans had been “a long time coming” but the time was right to make changes.
“We want to encourage people to stay longer in the town centre,” he said. “There is still lots of free parking - including the nearby train station which is under-used after lockdown - but, where we are charging, I believe nowhere else is lower than just £2.
“The plans take up all the key issues, and I think this is coming at a very good time.”He also believes the multi-storeys have to come down to unleash the area’s development potential.
“I don’t think the pool site, on its own, is big enough to attract a major investor, but if we remove the car parks it becomes a very worthwhile site.”