When will it be our turn?

Patchwork pavements in the west end of Kdy High St
Patchwork pavements in the west end of Kdy High St

the safety of elderly residents is being put at risk by the horrendous state of the pavements in the west end of Kirkcaldy High Street.

A number of older people living in flats behind the Olympia Arcade and surrounding streets say they have fallen or tripped, while others are afraid to walk along the pavements because they are uneven and cracked with drain covers sticking up.

Mary Hall, chairman of Kirkcaldy Civic Society, told the Press she had written to Fife Council on numerous occasions over the past two years asking why the proposed upgrade of the west end had not taken place.

“I have written two letters since December asking for answers on why we are still waiting while the east end of the High Street has had new pavements twice in recent years,” said Mrs Hall.

“The first response was totally dismissive, saying that there was no danger to anyone, so we wrote back again saying they were in a terrible state and asking when they were likely to be done. We had been told that the refurbishment of the west end had been held up because of the building of the swimming pool, but now that that is almost complete we would like to know when the west end work is going to take place.”

Hazel Weierter, a member of the Civic Society who lives in the west end of the town, said she had heard complaints from many elderly people about the pavements.

“They are in a horrendous state and from my own experience you certainly have to watch every step you take when going along that stretch between the Linktown Church and the West End Congregational Church in case you trip over the bits that are sticking up.

“One lady who lives in Douglas Street told me she avoids that way because it is so bad. It is time something was done.”

Lynn McLeary, owner of the Chocolate Box newsagents for the past 15 years, said she had seen customers falling outside her door.

“It is in a right mess and all the money seems to be spent at the other end and in the middle of the High Street, while we are forgotten about,” she said. “All they have done over the years is patch up the holes and cracks, and it is not a bonny job.”

Stacey Martin, a sales assistant at The Beach beauty and tanning studio, added: “It is bad. There is a bit right outside our door where the slabs don’t meet and there’s a constant puddle. Customers are always moaning about it and it needs to be fixed.”

Angus Carmichael, network services manager with Fife Council said: “We are still currently trying to pull together a funding package for phase 3 of the High Street refurbishment at the west end and as soon as that is identified the work will be carried out.

“In the interim I will be sending out someone to inspect the pavement here and if work has to be carried out to repair any safety defects this will be done.”