Probe demanded into Loch Road closure ‘fiasco’

editorial image

The B923 may have finally reopened this week but there are growing calls for a probe into the ‘fiasco’ of 15 week closure of a busy coastal road.

That’s the call coming from Burntisland, Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy West councillor Kathleen Leslie who is demanding more be done to support the communities and businesses that have suffered because of the closure.

“Whilst I am pleased that the road has now re-opened, I also believe it is time for the whole process from planning up to this extended closure to be scrutinised,” Cllr Leslie told the Press.

“Last year neither Lovell nor Transportation Services were open and transparent about the upcoming closure.

“Local businesses, residents and councillors were left in the dark and what is most frustrating is that officers have been unwilling to meet with those affected.”

In December 2017 Cllr Leslie called upon Fife Council for potential road closures to be built into planning processes but says she was not met with a straight answer.

“It seems simple, if you are going to build houses on both sides of a road it is fairly obvious this is likely to create considerable interruption to the normal flow of travel,” Cllr Leslie added.

“Why then was no road closure made clear at the time of planning?

“How come transportation officers didn’t flag up that a closure would be likely?

“Is there any communication between council departments?”

There was widespread anger among Kinghorn and Burntisland residents, as well as businesses situated along the busy Loch Road route.

Developers had originally requested for the road to be closed for up to six month, but eventually settled on a 14-week closure ending in April.

However there was further dismay when it was revealed the closure would need to be extended because of delays caused by the severe weather conditions that caused widespread disruption in March.

Now the councillor is calling for a full investigation into the what she called the fiasco.

Cllr Leslie added: “Lessons must be learned, which is why I am going to be submitting a request for the scrutiny committee to look at this.

“The disruption and impact of the B923 closure should serve as a warning for anywhere else in Fife where a housing development cuts across a main road or through a town. What can be done to ensure this does not happen again?”