FIFE COUNCIL should lock the gates to the Glen if they're not going to bother gritting paths that have become "incredibly unsafe" over the past week.

That's the view of one Press reader who said there was a greater risk of slips and falls as icy surfaces in Pittencrieff Park haven't been treated.

And another resident, Bill Gourlay, took aim at the council over the "diabolical state of the paths around the Touch area".

A "frequent user of Pittencrieff Park", who asked to remain anonymous, wrote to the Press and said: "Over the past few days, we have experienced a well-forecasted cold snap, resulting in a significant amount of snow and, more importantly, ice.

"This ice has created an incredibly unsafe and avoidable condition for walkers, runners etc who use the park."

He said that, during the pandemic, the Glen had proved an ideal location for locals to maintain physical and mental health and added: "I have seen a significant number of elderly people especially, however, over the past few days, they have disappeared, which, I believe, is due to the incredibly unsafe condition of the paths; fully understandable as there is an increased possibility of them falling and injuring themselves, something that could prove fatal in the elderly.

"The people that do brave the conditions all appear to 'mitigate' the risk by walking on the grass, which is strewn with dog waste left behind by some irresponsible dog owners.

"As I am sure most would agree, completely unacceptable.

"So, with all the facts in mind, I believe the responsible people need to decide, either address the unsafe conditions by fully gritting the paths or lock the gates if they do not want the expense of doing so."

Mr Gourlay told the Press: "It's always the same, whenever there is snow or ice, Touch is never on Fife Council's radar.

"There is one grit box in our area, which has been tipped forward for the past couple of years and is virtually useless.

"There is a large number of elderly residents who can't even access the local shop as the paths are covered in ice and snow and extremely dangerous.

"My wife slipped and fell today (Monday) at the garages on the road leading into Touch, luckily she was bruised and sprained and didn't break any bones, but it could have been a lot worse.

"I do realise that there are other priorities but surely after a full week someone from the council could have been out gritting the paths by now?"

He continued: "Nicola Sturgeon tells everyone not to go to hospital A&E or minor injury departments to help the NHS, to be brutally honest Fife Council are not listening, as the state of the side streets and paths are a disgrace.

"Can we get some action on the paths NOW, before someone has a serious accident and breaks a leg or worse?"

Fife Council confirmed on Tuesday that the paths in the park had now been gritted while Touch footpaths and pavements were due to be treated.

Service manager Bill Liddle said that a combination of rain and freezing temperatures had resulted in particularly challenging conditions, with gritted surfaces washed clean before freezing again.

He added: "We urge people to take care as surfaces are slippy. Gritters were out overnight and are out and about today treating icy conditions.

"We are working to treat main roads first and we'll get to other roads as soon as possible."