THE mum of a three-year-old girl knocked down and killed in Townhill has hit out after temporary bollards placed to prevent drivers parking at the tragic site were removed.

Robyn Knox died last month on Main Street and mum Danielle Falconer said the family were “utterly disgusted” when they witnessed people removing the bollards and urged them to return the safety measures.

The community council has been calling for changes to be made to the dangerous road for the last eight years and Fife Council placed the bollards in Main Street before more permanent traffic measures are imposed, with parking set to be prohibited in front of the shop and the public path widened.

Witnesses say they saw people emptying the water bollards and placing them to the side so that cars could continue to park outside the village convenience store which sits beside the junction of Loch Street.

However, Maq Sardar, owner of the Day-to-Day store, believes the bollards are making the road even more dangerous and says businesses and residents have not been consulted by the council about the measures.

Ronnie Cowan, chair of Townhill Community Council, said he had been inundated by phone calls and visits by locals left upset over the actions of some business owners in the village and called their actions “short-sighted”.

“Fife Council have worked hard to take action and are proposing to do away with the parking spaces at the front of the shops to move them further along,” Ronnie said.

“Although this tragic accident was no-one’s fault, most people can see that there are issues that need to be addressed.

“I think therefore that the shop owners are being very short-sighted and have upset not only Robyn’s family but the village.

“There is a lot of ill-feeling towards them.

“I spoke to the owners when the accident happened but now that the council is putting measures in place they are not happy.

“In my view, I don’t know why people can’t walk an extra 10 yards to park in a safer spot.

“The last thing we want is another accident and those actions were very insensitive.”

Fife Council placed the bollards back in front of the local shop on Friday and Mr Sardar says that customer footfall had dropped by half since.

“Only a small amount of people want the parking to be removed,” Maq told the Press.

“By law, they don’t have to be there so myself and other businesses removed them because we’re losing a lot of money and they are a hazard.

“I believe I am being picked on, I’ve been blackmailed and there have been all sorts of racist comments.

“Police Scotland came around because they also think they’re a hazard and told me they were going to get in touch with the council.

“Nobody has even thought about disabled people and also residents here that need the parking.

“They seem to have a one-track view to get rid of the parking and Fife Council is so persuaded by these people but it is actually more dangerous.

“I’ve already had deliveries where they have stopped in the middle of the road because there is nowhere to go and I can’t tell them where to park.

“All of these things need to be considered.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who don’t agree either but they’re frightened to say anything.”

Maq added: “Everybody was so disheartened by the death of this little girl – I was there crying when it happened as I have a three-year-old and I can’t imagine what it is like.

“I have collected for the little girl and I have also given permission to do a memorial on the building for her.

“But the police have said that it was a tragic accident and nobody was to blame – the store has been here since 1900 with parking in front and nothing like this has ever happened.

“People say there is a blind spot but there are blind spots all along this road.

“If this continues, then the reality is I’m going to have to close.

“This is my livelihood and I have tried to support the community as much as I could over the past 11 years.”

Councillor Helen Law said: “I think the majority of folk are delighted that something is being done.

“There is hardly a day that passes that there isn’t a near-miss there.

“Traffic measures are long overdue and I’m surprised a few folk don’t think something needs to be done.”

New safety measures could be brought in on Main Street as members of the City of Dunfermline area committee want to consult over plans to promote the removal of a parking layby so it can be replaced by a widened footway. 

Zig-zags for the adjacent crossing could be extended to cover this area too ensuring no vehicle can park or load outside the local convenience shop.

To allow deliveries to be loaded into the shop, a Loading Only bay is proposed on Loch Street adjacent to the shuttered loading door.

Transport officials say additional parking will be provided further along Main Street by moving the existing bus stop and bay, while the proposals also include changing the No Waiting/No Loading prohibition to ‘No Waiting At Any Time’ restrictions.

This will reduce their length to tie in with the extended crossing zig-zags, the loading bay and the existing parking bays north of Loch Street.

The restriction will be extended on the north side of Loch Street to the car park entrance.

As previously reported by the Press, transport officials, councillors and community members have worked together in recent weeks to provide solutions to the traffic problems following the death of little Robyn Knox on August 3. 

Convener Helen Law said at the committee: “There was a terrible tragedy in Townhill where a wee girl lost her life. 
“For many years, there has been a desire to change some of the parking and arrangements on Townhill Main Street and I am pleased to bring this paper forward today. The community has been heartbroken.”

Phil Clarke, lead consultant, traffic management (South Fife), said: “This is just looking at waiting restrictions. The proposal is to first of all provide a loading bay on Loch Street. 

“There was an existing TRO for not waiting around this junction although no road markings. It appears to pre-date the crossing and other measures.

“We are going to changes this to keep parking away from the junction and also the side of the road into the community centre carpark.”
Mr Clark said zig-zags were to be extended, possibly this week.

“We will now promote the order and see how we get on with that,” he said.

“In terms of permanent ways to look at extending the footways, we will be developing that over the coming months. Temporary barriers will remain in place before we have a permanent solution.”

He said water-filled barriers were now in place. “These barriers are there and won’t be getting moved until the permanent works are done.”