Kirk­caldy 4 All un­veils pro­pos­als that could trans­form the heart of the town.

Plan­ning: Pro­pos­als could trans­form the heart of the town to lo­cal busi­nesses

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - JONATHAN WAT­SON jowat­son­the­

Pub­lic in­put into three vi­sions for Kirk­caldy’s water­front is “crit­i­cal”, a town councillor has said.

Neil Crooks, chair­man of Kirk­caldy Area Com­mit­tee, was speak­ing as town cen­tre or­gan­i­sa­tion Kirk­caldy 4 All un­veiled pro­pos­als that could trans­form the heart of the town to lo­cal busi­nesses.

With re­moval of the cur­rent dual car­riage­way seem­ingly in­evitable, po­lit­i­cal and busi­ness lead­ers are keen to see in­creased car park­ing and more pedes­trian move­ment be­tween the shop­ping precinct and prom­e­nade.

Be­fore a wider pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, Mr Crooks said re­plac­ing the cur­rent ar­range­ment would have huge ben­e­fits for the town.

“What we have at the mo­ment is a block be­tween ac­cess­ing the water­front and the High Street and that needs to be cor­rected,” he said.

“When it comes to peo­ple walk­ing along the Fife Coastal Path, busi­nesses want these peo­ple spend­ing time in the High Street, and the dual car­riage­way blocks that.

“An­other rea­son is the lack of park­ing since we built the swim­ming pool on the town’s busiest car park.

“With these pro­pos­als we want to hear what peo­ple’s opin­ions are.

“It is crit­i­cal we hear from peo­ple in the town, not just coun­cil­lors,” he added.

The three pro­pos­als would see the re­moval of the dual car­riage­way, re­placed by a sin­gle road in ei­ther di­rec­tion.

Two of the projects would see ad­di­tional park­ing spa­ces cre­ated. One places these along the water­front, the other sug­gests in­stalling park­ing on the north side of the road, closer to the town cen­tre.

A third idea would see a sin­gle car­riage­way cre­ated in ei­ther di­rec­tion with an ex­panded cen­tral reser­va­tion opened up to host com­mu­nity events, such as mar­kets and fes­ti­vals.

Though con­tro­ver­sial, Fife Coun­cil has con­ducted traf­fic sur­veys which sug­gest re­duc­ing the Es­planade to a sin­gle lane is sus­tain­able.

Bill Har­vey and Harry Cormie, the man­ager and chair­man of Kirk­caldy 4 All, were show­ing off the pro­pos­als yes­ter­day, with Mr Har­vey say­ing: “It was a great suc­cess when we did a sim­i­lar ex­er­cise for phase three of the High Street re­gen­er­a­tion.

“We con­sulted with 17 or 18 busi­nesses and many of those com­ments were taken on board.

“That is the process we are go­ing through just now with the Es­planade and while the fi­nal de­ci­sion is that of Fife Coun­cil’s it shows that the coun­cil is want­ing to en­gage with busi­nesses,” he added.

It is crit­i­cal we hear from peo­ple in the town, not just coun­cil­lors. NEIL CROOKS

Pic­ture: Mhairi Ed­wards.

Harry Cormie and Bill Har­vey dis­cuss the Kirk­caldy water­front pro­pos­als.

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