A £400k plan to rip up the dual carriageway at Kirkcaldy Esplanade to create a new ‘urban street’ has been made public for the first time.
Councillors at Kirkcaldy area committee yesterday (Wednesday) were presented with two designs to create new single-lane roads – and up to 136 new car park spaces.
In the plans, described as a “first taster” of what could be achieved at the waterfront, Council technicians said they aimed to make the Esplanade look less of a carriageway by taking away the central reservations.
Scott Christie added: It’s not just a question of creating car parking spaces. It’s making the area more porous to pedestrians, cyclists and more usable for the cars that have to go there.”
The Esplanade dual carriageway was built in the ‘70s as part of a planned route through Kirkcaldy to Edinburgh – but the project was abandoned when the A92 was extended.
Ten years ago, as part of the Kirkcaldy Renaissance project, the Council considered redesigning the strip to pull the town centre and waterfront together but the plan was never realised.
What use is a swimming pool when there’s no car park there?Cllr Lawrence Brown
Then, controversially, in 2011, building began on a new pool on Tolbooth Street car park.
“What use is a swimming pool when there’s no car park there?” remarked Cllr Lawrence Brown.“This plan would be a great thing to bring people into Kirkcaldy.”
Cllr Susan Leslie agreed, adding it would encourage tourists to visit Kirkcaldy’s new Adam Smith building. However, Cllr David Ross cautioned the final design should not simply create a “large car park, which could look quite nasty.”
Cllr Marie Penman, while proposing free parking, hoped the design would attract more cyclists or walkers.
Committee chairman Cllr Neil Crooks, who commissioned the Time For Action feasibility report a few months ago, said: “All members agreed in 2012 that we felt removing the central reservation was still an idea worth exploring.
“Once the committee has a chance to consider this initial presentation, I hope it won’t be too long before we find funds to deliver it.”