Traders add up the cost of roadworks

Roadworks at The Crusoe Hotel
Roadworks at The Crusoe Hotel

BUSINESSES in Lundin Links and Lower Largo have hit out again at Fife Council’s roads department.

In last week’s Mail, Crusoe Hotel owner Stuart Dykes described the local authority’s decision to close the A915 Largo Road to carry out footway works over the Easter holiday as “sheer stupidity”.

This week he has gone one step further saying he is going to speak to his solicitor to see if any action can be taken against the council as he claimed signage made Lundin Links appear to be closed off rather than just have a local diversion in place.

He said: “I feel that aggrieved if I could sue the council I would sue them for loss of business.

“For them to turn round and say the road is quieter they are off their trolley. They have had all winter to do that work and they haven’t closed it.

“We have a turn at Christmas then we go through the whole of winter and you’re looking for the Easter weekend to give you a pick-up for your spring and they have just wiped that out for everybody in the area.”

Alan Stuart, of Stuart’s of Buckhaven bakers, which has a shop in Lundin Links, echoed Mr Dyke’s view over the signage.

He said: “It seems to make you think you can’t get along the road from Leven to Lundin Links and beyond which isn’t strictly true.”

“It’s just so frustrating as there is nothing you can do. There doesn’t seem to be any urgency in the work, that’s what annoys me most of all.

“The excuse for doing it over Easter just seems to be garbage to me, the schools are off and people are out and about.”

However Dave Smeaton, the council’s lead officer for road management (North Fife), said the local authority had taken many factors into consideration and it stood by both the signage and its decision to carry out the work during the holiday.

He said: “The main diversion route is extensive so a local diversion was identified to allow cars, buses and smaller vans through Lundin Links to minimise the impact on the local community. We’ve monitored the traffic throughout these works and when issues were identified we amended the signs to address them.

“We inspected the site over Easter weekend when the roads were open and there were no signs erected at that time.”

Another businessman Zaphar Iqbal, owner of Lundin Links Post Office and the Premier Stores, in both Lundin Links and Lower Largo, also rubbished Mr Smeaton’s claim and said he had been losing between £300 and £500 per day since the works, which are scheduled to finish today (Wednesday) started.

He said: “This is a tourist area where people come at a time like Easter. They can look at my books from over the years – this is my busy time.

“They really should have done it at the beginning of January/February.”

Mr Iqbal added he would speak to his accountant to see if taking any action against the council was viable.

Geoff McDonald, audit and risk management services manager, added: “Claims for compensation will be considered if the claimant can show that the council has acted negligently and the claimant can demonstrate that they have suffered a financial loss.”