Timings sorted: now will it work?

5211005 SSFF new junction 'bus having to swing out wide to traverse the new junction at the Adam Smith Centre, Kirkcaldy
5211005 SSFF new junction 'bus having to swing out wide to traverse the new junction at the Adam Smith Centre, Kirkcaldy

More adjustments have been made to the traffic lights at the new new Adam Smith junction - and Fife’s transport boss says he is now ‘confident’ traffic will flow more easily.

The project has been the subject of huge criticism since the roundabout outside the Adam Smith Theatre was replaced by traffic lights shortly before Christmas.

Since the lights became operational, Fife Council has come under sustained attack after drivers faced lengthy delays, and neighbouring streets were transformed into rat runs for motorists trying to avoid the junction.

Traffic jams saw motorists adding to carbon emissions rather than creating the ‘Green Corridor’ the project was intended.

Last week a private consultant was drafted in at a cost of between £1000 and £2000 to monitor the traffic flow and get the balance right for drivers and pedestrians.

Working well

Now, after more timing adjustments, the Council has said it is confident that the new system is working well.

Bob McLellan, head of transportation and environmental services, said: “We introduced traffic signals as part of a bid to improve links for pedestrians and cyclists between the railway station, the bus station, the civic centre and the town centre in Kirkcaldy.

“The challenge was finding a solution that let pedestrians cross the road safely and didn’t cause excessive delays for drivers.

“I believe the state of the art equipment we have installed fits the bill as it reacts to changing traffic conditions and now, with these adjustments, should allow vehicles to flow more easily.”

White lining

It is also expected white lining work on the Bennochy Road approach to the junction - which has now been completed - will also help with traffic flow.

Mr McLellan added: “Difficulties being experienced by pedestrians trying to cross at the former roundabout were raised with us regularly at consultation events and were also noted on our own site visits.

“The new traffic signals give pedestrians confidence about when it’s safe and appropriate to cross the road.

“It’s unfortunate that the new system didn’t get off to the best of starts and drivers have been frustrated.

“However, I hope that people will see the longer term benefits for Kirkcaldy as the system continues to bed in.”