Businesses rage at city road closure
A SIX-MONTH road closure in Dunfermline has prompted a furious response from nearby businesses.
William Street, which links Pittencrieff Street to Baldridgeburn, is having a bridge replaced and will be shut from Monday until the end of November.
Keith Brown, of Ian Brown Motor Engineers in Golfdrum Street, said, "I'm really bitter that it's going to take six months.
"It's obviously going to be a big restriction on business.
"Hopefully, with the customer loyalty we've built up over the past 43 years we should manage to hang on.
"Otherwise it could have an implication on how many people I have working here in six months' time.
"The council need to start representing people instead of themselves.
"There's no way that the people who do the planning can stay in this town, because it's a disaster, the worst I've ever seen.
"It's six months but there was no consultation."
Ian Smillie, of Essport Car Accessories in Miller Road, said they weren't consulted on the decision.
He added, "The first we knew about it was when the signs went up.
"We received no notification even though we're a business who will be directly affected by it.
"People on the council seem to think they have impunity to make decisions on behalf of everybody without any consultation.
"Please consult with us, is what we ask.
"Golfdrum (Street) residents and businesses got notification but by that time it was signed, sealed and delivered.
"I'm losing hair and gaining blood pressure by the day!"
Janet Arnott, of Gleneagles Motors in Grieve Street, said she and husband Tom, both directors at the business, were "angry" about the decision to close
She added, "The first we knew about it was when we saw the signs at the bottom of the road saying William Street was going to be closed for six months."
"At a month you could bear with it but six months? Even if there was some way they could partially close it or keep one lane open with traffic lights. It just gets worse and I don't think it's been thought out well."
Both Mr Brown and Mr Smillie said they believed Councillor Joe Rosiejak, who was chair of City of Dunfermline area committee at the time of the decision, could have done more to prevent the road closure.
Mr Rosiejak responded by telling the Press it was not a committee decision.
He said, "I'm as angry as they are.
"We were notified as councillors but the decision was not done at area level, it was all done at Fife House (in Glenrothes).
"We just got an email stating that it was closing, I wasn't even consulted.
"That's the point I was making during the (election) campaign - we have to get things devolved to the ward level so that we are consulted as councillors and the people are consulted."
The temporary closure of the street will not affect bus services.
A spokesperson for Stagecoach said, "It transpires that none of our services use the part of William Street that will be closing and therefore we are not expecting our services to be affected in any way."
Access for residents is to be maintained.
FIFE Council's Mike Loftus, lead officer Structures Asset Management, said, "Strengthening the bridge on William Street is essential work and we're temporarily closing the road so we can complete the job as quickly as possible.
"The application for the road closure was made in early January and published in the local press.
"A consultation drawing for the culvert replacement, a plan of the proposed traffic diversion route and a book for comments from the public were put in
Dunfermline Library and the local offices at Walmer Drive and Oakley.
"These plans, which included the duration of the works and anticipated start date, were on display for about two months.
"As well as publishing information on our website and issuing details to the local media, we also put up signs on the approaches to William Street warning the public of the impending closure."
Scottish Gas are planning to carry out extensive renewal of their gas main in William Street and the surrounding area during the closure to minimise disruption to local residents and businesses.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
May 25, 12:44
Dunfermline's becoming very difficult to get around both as a driver and pedestrian, what with this closure and the chaos around "Tescotown". I stay on the Northwest sector of town, and it's getting very annoying getting into town from this direction.
Recommend? Yes 10 No 0
May 25, 14:11
I can count on both hands the amount of times that I have shopped in Dunfermline town centre after living here for 7 years. We go to Kirkcaldy, Gyle, Linlithgow and Clackmananshire, anywhere else but Dunfermline. Judging by the amount of times we bump into neighbours in those places it seems that most people are voting with their feet and abandoning Dunfermline town centre. Whilst it is a mostly attractive looking town centre it offers very little: just the types of shops that you can drive to and park for free right outside, with wider selection elsehwere. The worsening road chaos is not helping and is effectively putting up a sign to everyone to avoid and stay away from Dunfermline town centre. I would like to start going to town but why bother when I can shop with less hassle and stress and time elsewhere?
Recommend? Yes 21 No 28
May 25, 19:29
Could not agree more dunf East!...every sympathy for traders in area...so all the traffic is going thro town centre is it and is the town centre ready? I don't think so!!
Talk to the public ...talk to the people who don't want Tesco....talk to the voters..Provost Leishman .I am going to say no and spend money in Alloa and Falkirk.....and don't bother J.... M.... or what ever u r called....Dunfermline is a joke for shopping...no fault of existing traders....fault of the council? fault of the voters...fault of us?.Ur Fault J M?
Recommend? Yes 7 No 27
May 25, 20:28
Can't say I ever have a problem getting parked and shopping in Dunfermline. It's got a lot more to offer than the likes of Alloa or Kirkcaldy...unless you do all your shopping in ASDA and Aldi!
However, it's clear Fife Council don't give a hoot about putting people off. This work is required but it sounds like a typical Fife House decision where they don't even bother to consult folk affected. We all know Fife Council only cares about Central Fife. West Fife is just their cash-cow where they can sell off land and collect the developer contributions. Why are business rates higher in Dunfermline that Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes? Why aren't Fife Council redoing the old pedestrianised streets in Dunfermline? Why aren't they redoing the shocking pavements in the New Row? It's got some great wee outlets like Reuben's and heads down to the Alhambra yet patrons are treated to a scabby concrete pavement.
Dunfermline has a good town centre but it could be great if only someone at Fife Council would open their eyes and invest some cash there instead of on the roundabouts in Glenrothes! It's great that the new museum is going ahead but it won't attract many if the surrounding area has become tatty and the shops moved out.
Recommend? Yes 18 No 4
May 26, 12:43
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May 26, 17:30
On the subject of roads, could the drivers who use the centre lane as they pass the old fire station glance to their right,in doing so they will see an arrow and a road number. This now means the outside lane is for going straight on as well as turning right. Twice lately a car in the centre lane has taken off at 45 degrees and I have just about rammed in to side of them. Large people carrier last Saturday take note, I was on my own you had your children in your car,the lady who tried to tell me I was in the wrong could maybe check this out also.
Recommend? Yes 5 No 5
May 27, 23:11
The Stupid car drivers going past the fire station, also believe the left hand lane is for going straight across, when its only for turning left. There going to be an accident, I would put money on it. If a bus is in the middle land and car in the left lane trying to get in, I think we can tell who going to come of worse BE warned....
Recommend? Yes 1 No 4
May 28, 20:56
May 29, 11:50
dunfermline is a joke, road works potholes everywhere pavements all over dunfermline are a disgrace and as for the shopping all that is happening is they are just moving the shops arround is it to try and make us think there are more shops (not getting fooled). Thank heavens for B&M's and Matalans, oops they are not in the centre. Will it get better, never in a million years, so in the meantime I will just go further afield.
Recommend? Yes 6 No 12
May 29, 15:55
"It's got a lot more to offer than the likes of Alloa or Kirkcaldy...unless you do all your shopping in ASDA and Aldi!"
The retail park has a Sainsbury's and othre shops...only chavs go to Mercat centre or Dunfermline.
Recommend? Yes 3 No 18
May 29, 16:19
U negate ur arguement Dunf east...Dunfermline's got a lot more to offer has it?..we only just got Matalan (not open yet).....B & M....if u can afford the petrol.....oh I forgot dingy pubs with an apology for food...Dunfermline first never in your puff!!! particularly with Provost Leish at the helm...better get the coastguard prepared before the place sinks any further
Recommend? Yes 5 No 15
May 29, 18:24
May 29, 19:39
I negate to see the purpose in the 'new' Kingsgate. At least it is carrying on the tradition of Dunfermline High Street, of pound-shops and empty units. Now the current roadworks will put visitors (and residents) off shopping here even more. Come on Barr Construction - bring on Tesco - it will have far more to offer than the rest of Dunfermline shopping - other than that which is already established in retail parks!
Recommend? Yes 1 No 7
May 29, 19:47
Dude, Dunfermline Hight Street has nothing to offer. A horrid Boots, a crammed Next, a too small Debenhams and charity shops and £ shops. Great if you are living on tax payers via benefits and want to spend all day doing nothing but looking around tat then getting blazing at night around the dingey pubs and walking back to your council house. Tesco is not a destination shop either. Dunfermline and Rosyth already have 3 of them and a 4th is making the place look like Tesco-town.
Recommend? Yes 5 No 14
May 29, 20:12
May 30, 08:13
May 30, 19:10
Guess what D/line East LOTS AND LOTS of people are very happy that B&M and Matalan have opening in the town and hopeful Home bargain will appear soon. If I want top end shops I travel to Livingston thank you.
Recommend? Yes 2 No 2