15 week Kinghorn road closure decision to face full scrutiny

The closure of the B923 Loch Road near Kinghorn lasted for 15 weeks.
The closure of the B923 Loch Road near Kinghorn lasted for 15 weeks.

The circumstances surrounding the forced 15 week closure of a busy Fife coastal road to the dismay of residents, businesses and motorists, is to be scrutinised by councillors.

The move follows pressure from Kirkcaldy West, Kinghorn and Burntisland councillor Kathleen Leslie who told the Press that lessons must be learned following the B923 Loch Road closure in Kinghorn which was shut between January and May this year.

Cllr Kathleen Leslie has been successful in her bid to have the road closure decision fully scrutinised.

Cllr Kathleen Leslie has been successful in her bid to have the road closure decision fully scrutinised.

Cllr Leslie has hit out at Fife Council planners and transportation staff for what she called a “catalogue of failure” which allowed a housing developer to successful apply for the road to be closed.

Initially informed that she could not bring a specific item before the council’s scrutiny committee, cllr Leslie has now learned that the issue will be reviewed as part of a wider scrutiny of council process.

“Whilst the review cannot be brought to the agenda specifically under the heading of the Loch Road closure. it should be possible to have it examined as the more general item of the process for road closures by non-statutory bodies such as a housing developer,” she explained.

“In my opinion, there has been a catalogue of failures in this whole process from the beginning planning and transportation services should have been asking the questions about whether there would be any road closure.

“I am not an engineer but considering houses were going to be built along both sides of the B923 it would seem obvious that was going to happen.”

Furthermore, cllr Leslie has criticised the lack of communication from transportation to the local community, businesses and councillors.

“By having a wider review of non-statutory bodies commissioned by the scrutiny committee then perhaps we can get some transparency and accountability and not make this mistake again,”

Responding to the criticism, councillor Altany Craik, Economy, Tourism. Strategic Planning and Transportation committee convener said: “The scrutiny of this item will come to the Strategic Committee as part of a lessons learned paper on the road closure.

“The impact of the closure has been raised by councillors Langlands and Leslie and I have invited them to present their concerns.

“I think councillor Leslie is talking about a ‘call-in’ rather than a request to scrutinise an issue which needs only the convener to agree to.

“However, she and Gordon are right to raise these concerns and I am happy to facilitate the lessons learned.”