Kirkcaldy High Street: Automatic rising bollards planned for pedestrianised zone

A ground radar survey has been carried out in Kirkcaldy High Street ahead of automatic rising bollards potentially being installed.

By Craig Smith, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 23rd March 2022, 9:54 am

The mechanical barriers, which are likely to cost at least £40,000, have been seen as the preferred solution to motorists misusing the High Street’s pedestrianised area as a thoroughfare and have been supported by the Kirkcaldy area committee.

Blue badge holders and delivery lorries can occasionally use the route at certain specified times, but Fife Council decided to take action after it emerged many drivers were continuing to flout the restrictions and potentially putting people’s safety at risk.

With the project now at the feasibility stage, investigations had to be carried out to accurately locate underground public utilities so these will not be disturbed when work starts on site.

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The plan would involve rising bollards being positioned at the end of the pedestrianised zone.

Committee convener Councillor Neil Crooks explained: “We can’t really go digging up the High Street until we’ve established what utilities are under there, so we’ll get feedback from this survey and go from there.”

The automatic rising bollards are expected to be positioned at the west end of the pedestrianised zone, near what was known as ‘Burton’s Corner’.

Meanwhile, councillors have also been given an update on a consultation with businesses and residents to further restrict the times exempted vehicles can access the pedestrian zone between Tolbooth Street and Kirk Wynd.

Council officials believe restricting car access to that part of the High Street would allow increased time for outdoor seating for cafes or restaurants and would also accommodate outdoor markets.

Four options are being consulted on, including the status quo and indeed an approach that would close the section completely 24 hours a day seven days a week – which would also mean no access for loading or blue badge vehicles.

That would effectively send all motorists using the pedestrianised stretch down Tolbooth Street.

The other two options seek to reduce access for exempted vehicles, with the first suggesting all vehicles could be prohibited between 11am to 5pm Monday to Sunday and allowed outwith those hours.

The second suggests exempted vehicles could be prohibited all day Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and allowed on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Emergency service vehicles will always be allowed access, and a further report on the consultation outcome is expected to go before councillors later this year.