Survey brands Kirkcaldy town centre parking ‘poor’

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Kirkcaldy’s opinion of town centre parking centre can be summed up in one word – rubbish.

A total of 65 per cent described it as poor in a survey run by the Fife Free Press – and there was no shortage of suggestions for councillors grappling with the issue.

When asked what their preference was for parking, 77 per cent said make it free with 11 per cent wanting pay on exit.

Almost 1000 people took part in our survey on our town centre.

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They were scathing in their views on the state of the unloved multi-storey car parks, and wanted to see greater flexibility in paying to park.

And there remained anger at the decision to close Tolbooth Street car park in 2007 to build the swimming pool and leisure centre, which many pinpoint as one of the catalysts for the decline.

The current time limit was also extremely unpopular and seen as a barrier to encouraging people to come into town.

Councillors and officers are trying to come up with a plan as part of a project which covers everything from charges to how we travel.

Readers threw plenty of ideas thrown into the pot.

Some wanted an end to all parking within the pedestrianised zone, and if charges were imposed, then all drivers should pay.

Blue badge holders, argued some, should be located within the multi-storey. Others wanted parking ON the High Street to make it easier to pop in for collections or quick purchases.

But, across the survey feedback, the call for free parking arose time and again.

“Make it free like other towns” wrote one person, pointing directly to Glenrothes – a call for parity echoed by many.

“Make it free to encourage visitors” said another. Free parking on-street, and bring in pay-on-exit for the multi-storey, suggested another.

For those who said charges should remain, there was a desire to see a system overhaul.

Some wanted a four-hour parking limit, others plumped for three or two, but more important was the desire to adopt the policy of paying when you leave.

There was almost zero support for the status quo.

It was also clear that councillors have a tough job selling the multi-storeys as a key component of any future parking strategy. The high-rise developments were viewed as out of date, unattractive and and in need of a major overhaul.