THE lasting effects of a devastating fire above Khushi's restaurant in Dunfermline are causing problems for business owners.

Louise Hutchison, operations manager at Abbot House, says the "road barriers have literally become barriers to trade" to shops surrounding the Canmore Street building.

The crossroads where Canmore Street, St Margaret's Street, Abbot Street and Guildhall Street meet is blocked off to pedestrians and traffic, causing problems for businesses in the Maygate, Heritage Quarter and surrounding areas.

Louise told the Press: "We just want to emphasise how devastated we are for Khushi's and the damage to their business.

"We also entirely appreciate that public safety takes priority and are fully aware that these things take time to put right.

"All we want to do is spread the word that it's business as usual.

"The impact on this end of the city has been much worse than expected, it really is surprising the extent of the impact that road closures and restricted pedestrian access can have.

"The road barriers have literally become barriers to trade."

She added that the shop at Abbot House has experienced one of its slowest weeks since opening more than two-and-a-half years ago while Blend Coffee Lounge, which opened its doors in July last year, has also seen a reduction in trade.

Louise continued: "Apart from reduced footfall and sales we're having real difficulties with deliveries.

"Delivery companies are less likely to work around diversions and there's a lot of work needed to communicate diversions to them.

"We have already had deliveries that have simply not arrived.

"Our tenants are also being directly impacted, including Go Escape, Clarabella Christie, Olivella Violins, David McNaughton and Rachel Henderson Design."

She went on to say that neighbouring businesses, such as The Caledonian Craft Beer Merchant, Kreative, Hope Hairdressing, Little Shop of Heroes, and David Gray Barbers, have reported similar issues.

Disabled access to Maygate is currently permitted by two-way access from High Street and down Kirkgate.

Pedestrian access is allowed from High Street and down Guildhall Street as well as via Dunfermline Abbey graveyard into both Abbot House and Dunfermline Carnegie Libraries and Galleries.

Fife Council has confirmed that there is no exact date for when roads and footpaths will reopen in the city centre, with restrictions expected to remain in place for more than a week longer.

Gordon Mole, Head of Business and Employability with Fife Council, said: "Dunfermline city centre remains very much open for business following the fire at Canmore Street last Friday, April 21.

"However, some road closures are still in place and will be for the next week or so.

"These are affecting both vehicles and pedestrians and at this point we don't have an exact date for when the roads and footpaths will reopen.

"Public safety is our top concern, and we are working with the building owner’s engineers who are assessing the building’s structure to get work underway.

"Diversions are in place to allow delivery access to those businesses affected.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank residents and businesses for their patience during this time."

Residents with any questions or concerns with access can call 03451 55 00 00 while businesses who need information on support can contact Business Gateway on 01592 858333 or by visiting