Residents living next to Burntisland railway station say there is a desperate need for more parking in the area all year round.
And they say that land to the rear of the station, which is being looked into as a possible 100 space car park, is an eyesore and could be put to much better use for parking and to bring more custom to businesses at the Platform Studios.
The response, sparked by the story in last week’s Press where Councillor Kathleen Leslie questioned the need for more parking and asked for people’s views, has caused widespread debate in the town.
Some people claim that it is only the good weather in the summer months when extra visitors come into the town when additional parking is needed, and that the area is a wildlife haven, particularly for butterflies and bees.
But Iain Ralph, chairman of the Burntisland Tenants and Residents Association, said that lack of parking is a constant problem for people living near the station – so much so that the residents are asking Fife Council for parking permits to be introduced.
Former councillor George Kay, who fought for extra parking for years, said that it was one of his main regrets not being able to see it happen.
“The notion that the land in question has any beauty or any environmental values is absurd. It is a testament to neglect and misuse,” he said.
“The land outside the railway buildings was opened as a themed garden with wild flowers and railway artefacts. The wild flowers have long since disappeared under nettles and the artefacts lost in the weeds.”
He added that Burntisland is the only town on the railway network not to have any dedicated parking.
The issue of a parking shortage in the town has been an ongoing problem for years, and came under the spotlight again when Fife Council allowed vehicles to park on a small section of grass at the town’s Links during the busy summer period.
This led to complaints from locals and the community council organised a public meeting which called for a permanent solution before next summer, including the possibility of a park and ride shuttle service.
Councillor Gordon Langlands, said: “I fully support proposed parking at the railway station for commuters and any overflow from the shows and other local events in the industrial waste area between the old railway club (now studios) and the sidings. I’m actively working with Fife Council officials to expedite a feasibility study for the area.”
John Mitchell, service manager, said: “The feasibility report has been shared with local councillors and there is to be a meeting at the end of August to discuss a way forward.
“The report highlights options and recommends that if the project is to progress it would be beneficial to undertake further geotechnical site investigation to help establish the detail of local ground conditions.
“In addition, officers continue to liaise with Network Rail and Abellio ScotRail to encourage them to provide parking at Burntisland, since the site is owned by them.”