ALLOWING motorists to park for longer in Dunfermline will benefit tourism and trade. 

That’s the hope of Fife Council and Dunfermline Delivers with a car park in the town centre to be changed from short- to long-stay. 

Currently, the maximum stay at Carnegie Drive (west) – next to Fire Station Creative and opposite the old Velocity nightclub – is three hours but that will be changed to four-plus hours after a suggestion from the BID company. 

In a report to the City of Dunfermline area committee, the council’s Susan Keenlyside said: “Recent discussions on parking issues with Dunfermline Delivers and local members highlighted a request for an improved parking operation and for more long-stay car-parking opportunities in the city centre.”

Dunfermline Age-Friendly City Steering Group had objected, arguing the move “would encourage all day commuter parking” and reduce availability for older people and those with limited mobility. 

But councillors, who heard that occupancy at the car park was below average levels at 58 per cent, approved the plan. 

A review of car-parking in Dunfermline, last looked at 12 years ago, will also be carried out.

Chair of the committee, Councillor Helen Law, said: “There has been considerable investment in car-parking in Dunfermline over the last three years with more planned. 

“However, we also recognise that the initial Dunfermline parking plan was approved in 2005 and needs to be updated to make sure it’s suitable for the ongoing demands of a vibrant city centre.”

Ms Keenlyside said the opening in May of the new £12 million Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries was expected to attract more visitors and that “offering more flexible and longer-stay parking options will help to support the city centre and heritage quarter”. 

She said that new pay and display machines would allow the roll-over of parking payment to the next day and also cashless parking through RingGo – where payment can be made by mobile phone.

New signs will go up and her report added that parking enforcement, and compliance with the pedestrian zone restrictions, had improved.