Step one improvements on £1m Kirkcaldy wish-list gets the green light

Cllr Neil Crooks was delighted to see improvements agreed
Cllr Neil Crooks was delighted to see improvements agreed

Two improvement projects for Kirkcaldy town centre are to receive a share of the £1 million Town Centre Development Fund.

Funding to refurbish one level of the Esplanade multi-storey and upgrading the steps in the town’s Bell Inn Wynd, known locally as The Postings’ steps, was agreed by councillors at Kirkcaldy area committee yesterday (Wednesday).

The projects will receive over £220,000 from the cash pot.

Work will start later this year on the £175,000 facelift of the third level of the Esplanade multi-storey car park.

It will include lighting improvements, bright coloured surfacing, wider parking bays and improved signage.

The committee members welcomed the changes, which it is hoped will encourage more people to use the car park.

Councillor Kay Carrington said: “This is a step forward in trying to make Kirkcaldy an easier place to do business so folk can come and park.

‘‘The issue is it just doesn’t fit modern cars. I appreciate the work being done so folk can drive in and open their doors properly. It’s grossly under-used.”

Councillors also agreed to award £47,500 from the Town Centre Development Fund to contribute towards the upgrading of the Postings’ steps.

The whole project, which aims to make improvements to the steps in the interests of pedestrian safety by reducing the potential for trips and falls and highlighting the existing ramp, will cost approximately £95,000.

The other half of the cash will come from Fife Council’s transportation budget.

The work will see the steps and handrails replaced.

Councillors heard that the completed scheme will not be Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant - to meet that standard in full, would need a full reconstruction which was estimated at £350,000.

Under the proposals only the gradient of the ramps will not be compliant.

Cllr Susan Leslie said: “These desperately need something done about them.”

Cllr Carrington added: “There’s an ambulance there once a week for elderly people tripping on the stairs. I really welcome this.”

Speaking after the meeting, chairman Cllr Neil Crooks said he was pleased issues raised at the town centre summit two years ago are being addressed.

He added: “This is the first award from Kirkcaldy’s Town Centre Development Fund of £1m and I’m delighted it is being used to greatly improve two prominent town centre facilities.

‘‘Both have been highlighted by locals and the business community – it will be great to see the improvements being delivered on.”