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Petition calls for season parking ticket charges in Kirkcaldy to be cut

The Esplanade car park
The Esplanade car park

Kirkcaldy councillors are being asked to look at resurrecting a cut price season parking scheme.

They are being asked to include it in an ongoing review which will look into parking charges, following a petition, in a bid to lure people back to the town centre.

Some years ago a pilot scheme saw the price of quarterly season tickets slashed from £120 to £60 but that came to an end last year and they now cost £130.

Now a petition, carrying 211 signatures, has been submitted to Fife Council’s Kirkcaldy area committee.

It says the increased cost of long stay parking permits is prohibitive to most people employed on or near the High Street.

It also raised concerns about the dangers of having to walk longer distances to free car parks.

“Many people are concerned about their safety, fearing walking alone,” it added.

It is calling on the local authority to reinstate the cheaper season ticket price at £60 for three months.

However, if the price is cut, it would mean an estimated loss of income of around £21,000 a year.

The discount scheme was introduced as a way of reversing the fortunes of the town centre.

During the economic crisis Fife’s major towns experienced a drop in demand for parking.

While St Andrews and Dunfermline are showing recovery, Kirkcaldy has remained static.

As part of a time for action plan, parking was identified as a major issue.

In 2014 the area committee invested £175,000 to refurbish the Esplanade multi-storey which has attracted more users.

A £1 for two hours off-street parking initiative started the following year and as part of this season tickets for long stay car parks were cut to help shoppers and workers.

The season ticket scheme proved popular – 90 more were issued every quarter than before – but there was no evidence of greater numbers of drivers parking in the town centre.

Instead there was simply a transfer to season ticket use.

The committee decided to axe the scheme in January 2018 when there was no “robust” evidence it had been a positive impact on the local economy.

Now consideration is being given to devolving the issue of parking to local area committee level.

Kirkcaldy was selected as a pilot to carry out a place making and car parking options review which will examine a wide range of parking issues.

Councillors are being asked to include options for season tickets to be included in that process.

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