Parking charges at new bays on Kirkcaldy Esplanade put on hold

Fife Council has put the brakes on the introduction of car parking charges in Kirkcaldy town Centre - pending a wider review of the entire issue.

By Craig Smith, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 12:20 pm

Fees were supposed to kick-in for dozens of new on-street spaces on the Esplanade Service Road on Monday (December 6), but the local authority has stepped in to pause the charging plans until after the New Year at least.

Ticket machines had been installed alongside the bays earlier this year, but visitors to the town centre and Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre in particular were able to park for free as they were not operational.

And even though signs went up warning drivers that they would have to start paying from December 6, that is now not the case.

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Councillor Neil Crooks, Kirkcaldy area committee convener, explained that although the committee had agreed a new traffic regulation order (TRO) for the new parking at the east end of the Esplanade, that was done with a caveat on charging being part of a wider car parking and place making review.

And he added: “We have not yet concluded that review so it’s not appropriate to move on this in isolation without further consideration by the area committee.”

Fife Council has now confirmed that the introduction of parking charges on the Esplanade Service Road near Redburn Wynd has indeed been delayed to allow further consideration of charges in the wider Kirkcaldy area early in 2022.

News of the delay has been welcomed by visitors to Kirkcaldy High Street, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.

Local shopper Julie Greig said: “It’s the parking charges that stop me coming down the High Street.

“I tried the bus yesterday but for a couple of pounds more I could get a return to Edinburgh!”

The outcome of the wider parking review is expected to be known early in 2022, with a report expected to go before Kirkcaldy area committee in that respect.

Various ideas have been mooted in the past, ranging from the abolition of charges in certain car parks to making all vehicles entering the High Street exit via Tolbooth Street to stop drivers using the whole street as a thoroughfare.

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