PLANS to extend the pedestrianisation of Dunfermline High Street could "disadvantage" elderly and disabled people.

That's according to Disabilities Fife, who fear Fife Council proposals to ban vehicles from midday to 9pm could hamper plans for evening meals and nights out.

Blue Badge-holders would be restricted to 9am to midday with no afternoon or evening access to High Street, with an alternative deal to use the Kingsgate car park on offer.

Charles Litster, chair of Disabilities Fife, said: "Some people have a carer so they can park in the Kingsgate and will get help getting in and out but there will be others who don't have equipment or people to help them do that.

"Essentially, you're saying that disabled people who don't have those tools or a carer with them can't go into the pedestrianised area from midday to 9pm.

"It's a bit unequal."

He continued: "It is a disadvantage as people who are disabled and want to go out for an evening meal will find it more difficult to do that now.

"They may go elsewhere rather than Dunfermline. It's a bit unfair if their mates can go out and they can't.

"It just makes it more difficult. They may have friends who can go out and they're being left at home."

In a letter to Mr Litster, Sunil Varu, the council's new economy adviser for Dunfermline, outlined initiatives to aid recovery, including cleaning the town centre, tidying up the gap site, re-starting the WiFi, adding floral enhancements from mid-June and encouraging the return of the Fife Farmers' Market.

Mr Varu wrote: "As part of the measures, we would like to extend restrictions to all traffic in the High Street from midday to 9pm (and possibly to 2am to help the night-time businesses).

"Currently, access for Blue Badge-holders and delivery vans for High Street businesses is allowed up to midday and after 3pm.

"I am making a plea to you and your members to support us in our collective efforts.

"In order to provide Blue Badge-holders a suitable alternative, the operators of the Kingsgate car park are prepared to offer free parking for the first two months and then a lesser charge of £2 all day.

"This would be a much better deal than the current £3.50 for the day."

Mr Litster welcomed the free parking for two months but said there were issues to be resolved.

He said: "We're trying to work with businesses in Dunfermline as it's very important they do recover. We're not saying don't do this.

"We're just saying if you are doing this then please consider the impact and adjust the plans to meet the needs of the disabled.

"Our view is that between 9am and midday is not really the best time for a disabled person.

"They may have carers coming in which means they can't always get out of their home to get to Dunfermline town centre in that time.

"Or they may have medical conditions which means it can take longer than perhaps you or I would take to get ready and get out.

"There's more work needed. I don't know what the solution is. At the moment, it's unfair in the evenings and afternoons and a lot of disabled people can't make the mornings."