TWO pilot schemes will see a free shuttle bus and the scrapping of Sunday parking charges in Dunfermline – with a by-election candidate slammed for attempting to claim the credit.

Fife Council have confirmed the £18,000 town centre initiatives in time for Christmas, a welcome boost for the Press' Keep It Free campaign, but there's very little festive goodwill towards Derek Glen.

He's standing for the Dunfermline Central ward for the SNP on November 14 and sent out a press release titled "By-election candidate helps secure town centre parking victory" – with angry councillors saying he had nothing to do with it.

Referencing the new pilot schemes, Mr Glen added: "I've been working with local councillors to make the case for supporting our town centre and I'm delighted that they have taken forward these suggestions.

"This will be good for Dunfermline residents and good for local businesses. Dunfermline Central deserves the highest standard of representation and I'm committed to ensuring that this is always the case."

There will be a free weekend shuttle bus running between the free car park at Leys Park Road and the town centre from Saturday, November 16, until Sunday, January 5. It will also run on December 23 and 24.

When that ends, Sunday parking in the council's ticketed town-centre car parks and on-street spaces will be free until early February, with the possibility they'll be scrapped in future.

However, Cllr James Calder, of the Lib Dems, said: "Contrary to what the SNP might claim, the campaign to remove Sunday parking charges in Dunfermline was not one where they took the lead.

"The original impetus, after the Dunfermline Press 'Keep It Free' campaign earlier this year, was a joint motion brought forward by myself and Cllr Gavin Ellis, of the Conservatives.

"It seems poor form from the SNP candidate to suggest that somehow he or his colleagues can take credit for this cross-party initiative."

The Press launched our Keep it Free campaign way back on January 10, demanding the council breathe new life into the town centre by scrapping Sunday charges.

And the joint motion, with amendments from Cllr Garry Haldane (Labour) and Cllr Fay Sinclair (SNP), sought a review with the option to scrap the charges and devolve car parking to local area committee level.

That's set to happen and Cllr Ellis added: "After the hard work done by the Dunfermline Press and all of us as councillors on the area committee, where politics has been set aside to achieve the outcome we will now have in place this winter for residents and businesses, it's very disappointing to see the SNP candidate try to take any form of credit on this.

"Mr Glen has had no input into the area committee nor had he been involved in the early days of this campaign."

Cllr Haldane said: "The events leading up to this have been in the planning for some time and Derek Glen has never been involved.

"As an area committee, we have been working together to find solutions to the parking issues around town and this is not a one-party, one-song situation.

"Derek Glen has had no influence in any of the decisions that the area committee have made and this statement is not a true account of the proceedings that have led to this decision.

"It is wrong to say he has helped secure this or indeed anything at all."

He said it was a joint decision by councillors from all parties and added: "Myself and, I believe, the other area councillors will not be happy that this candidate is claiming he has had some influence over us or the council."

Gillian Taylor, the council's community manager for Dunfermline, said: "Car-parking always features highly in town-centre feedback from people and businesses.

"We hope that by taking forward these two proposals, visitors will be attracted by the improved parking offering in the busy shopping period leading up to Christmas and then encouraged to continue visiting regularly in the New Year with free Sunday parking."

The initiatives will be closely monitored to see if they boost footfall in Dunfermline town centre.