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At our last CC meeting held on 12th September Shelagh Mackay intimated that she was resiging from her position of Chair of E&ECC. On behalf of the whole community the committee would like to express their thanks to Shelagh for her work and dedication to this very demanding role over the past two years. We are all sad to see her leave.

As Shelagh's departute from E&ECC and and the sad death of longstanding member, Jim Robertson, leaves us with two spaces within the CC, it is hoped that we will be able to co-opt two news members. Watch this space for updates on CC members. 

Contact details for all members of the CC can be found on the HOME page.

 

For all our latest news please visit  https://www.facebook.com/ElieEarlsferry

 

In response to a request for public views on our traffic problems and possible solutions the following points were received: 

Backgound

In March 2020 prior to Covid lockdown the then Cllr Linda Holt was given an undertaking that Elie & Earlsferry would have a walk round with a view to formulating a Traffic Flow report which would aim to resolve the seasonal issues which the villages experience, Covid resulted in Fife Council working from home and the project still hasn’t been progressed.

As chair of the CC I have asked a number of people to tell me what they regard as the main issues and what could happen to make things easier for residents and visitors. Word of mouth, direct contact and Facebook were all used to gather in comments. The comments received are attached and the writer should not be able to be identified by excluding addresses.

Not all of the suggestions will be welcomed or even possible short term, but many are relatively inexpensive and should deliver enhanced safety for pedestrians, wheelers and car users.

 

Overview

The villages are very popular with day visitors, second home owners and the infrastructure was not designed to cope with the number of visitors we currently receive. Anecdotal evidence suggests thie summer 2022, has been much quieter than the two preceding summers. The majority of people arrive by car, public transport is limited and not feasible for a family arriving for a holiday. Once here a number of people do walk and use bicycles to get around, but their cars still need to be parked somewhere and there is very limited public parking.

A temporary solution was found between Elie Estates and Fife Council but going forward this is no longer an option. No alternative site has been identified. It is the primary step in the process as however much people may walk or cycle once here, the only realistic way to arrive as a visitor for more than a day is by car and the majority of residents are also dependent on their cars.

The removal of Nairn Park needs to be addressed urgently and an alternative site found. During summer 2022 it was only open on 5 occassions.

 

Residents

Resident parking permits have been discussed at CC meetings previously, but they would be meaningless without enforcement and on a practical level we see very little enforcement of illegal and dangerous parking, we are unlikely to see any enforcement of ‘only residents’ parking. Holiday periods are challenging for less mobile residents and those with young children being unable to park close to their homes. The provision of visitor parking would help ease this issue.

Residents in Ferry Road are allowed to park on Ferry road during winter months, but not summer, this increases pressure on an already very congested Earlsferry High Street, it is probably the only area in the villages that could merit the removal of the double yellow lines allowing residents year round parking.

Only a small number of residents regularly cycle around the villages, the current cycle parking is seldom used.

 

Wheelers

A review of access for ‘wheelers’ is ongoing under the ‘Spaces for People’ initiative. Many of the issues with visiting cyclists is the lack of adherence to the Highway Code  i.e. cycling on pavements, cycling at speed and cycling the wrong way down one way streets, a particular issue in Earlsferry where both roads are one way.

These issues extend beyond our villages, but it might be possible to reduce the danger in two areas:

The Terrace

 Closure to vehicles at the west junction with Rankeillor street, access via east junction with Stenton row, for residents, having spoken with the majority of residents there is little opposition and some support, subject to bin lorry moverability.

 

Admirality Lane- closure to vehicles, last 35m between The Toft and Wadeslea, this is well worth trying, but very clear signage would be required at the top of Stenton Row that there is no access to Ruby Bay. This is a very narrow road with no pavements and no possibility of installing any on even one side. It is the route to the harbour and the beach for those parking in Ruby Bay or walking the coastal path. This would only work with signage re- no through road and an indication when the harbour trust Car Park is full.

The bike parks at Toll Green, the Vennel and north high street are seldom used although bikes are widely used in the summer season, predominately from Earlsferry to shops and Earlsferry to harbour, for most of the year there is not an issue with bike parking.

 

Speed limits

The majority of people who commented would like to see 20mph throughout the villages. Crail are to have an 18 month trial, but it is something which has been introduced elsewhere and it’s hard to understand why it can’t be put in place throughout the East Neuk villages. There are a number of areas in the East Neuk where speed bumps have been installed, entry points into Elie where sight lines are not good would benefit from speed reducing measures.

 

Campervans/Ruby Bay

The increased popularity of campervans has been an issue on CC agenda for a very long time. They are considerably larger than most family cars and reduce the number of potential car parking spaces for cars bring walkers and day visitors to the Ruby Bay car park. FCCT have tried to address the issues associated with this conflict for space and have had some success and have also introduced charges for parking at Ruby Bay.

Disallowing large vehicles to park and banning overnight stays would increase the space available for day visitor’s cars.

Repositioning of the recycling site would also have merit, but identifying an alternative site is difficult.

 

Parking Restrictions

Various suggestions have been received and further use of double yellow lines needs to be considered on Bank Street, through Liberty to Earlsferry High Street, the link between Stenton Row and the Toft.

Possible removal along Ferry Road heading north out of the village.

There are other possible areas which could be examined, the aim was to try to focus on what might be achievable before presenting to FC.

 

Depersonalised comments received in response to CC minutes and Facebook request:

Generally, the parking arrangements for the village are adequate but problems do arise during the busy summer months of July and August.

 

It is ludicrous that the Ruby Bay carparks should be used as an overnight parking area for motorhomes thus using up the limited number of parking spaces for those wanting to park their car and go for a walk.  The Fife Coast & Countryside Trust have done a great job at managing the situation, but they have created the situation and have had to take on extra resources to manage it which they struggle to cope with.

 

If we want motorhome provision closer to the village than what is already provided for at the Elie Holiday Park then I think we should consider where else it could be more appropriately provided i.e., the former playing fields, the Deer Park or elsewhere.

 

A height barrier is the only way to stop motorhomes appearing and using up the car parking spaces at the Ruby Bay carpark.  The recycling area should be moved to a different location (possibly the entrance to the new development) so that refuse lorries do not need access to the Ruby Bay area.  The height barrier can then be moved to the Anchorage with an 'emergency break glass’ mechanism for emergency access.

 

Consideration needs to be given to how users of the Ruby Bay carpark can get safely down to the Toft, Harbour, beach etc as the current route down Admiralty Lane is an accident waiting to happen especially for those in wheelchairs, pushing prams etc.  How it would be achieved I’m not too sure, but I think a pedestrian link along the back of Ruby Bay to the Harbour would be of great benefit to the community however there would be ownership issues to deal with.

 

If Fife Council / FCCT are not willing to restrict access to motorhomes at the Ruby Bay then I feel consideration should be given to expanding the Ruby Bay carparks to the south east (on Council owned land) and creating a car parking only area with a height restriction in place.  Another option would be to install the height barrier between the lower and upper carpark so motorhomes only have access to the lower area leaving the upper area for car parking only.

 

Access to the Ruby Bay area via Wadeslea is poor but with a new vehicular link from the new housing development, there will be a new purpose-built access with appropriate sight lines etc onto the A917.  The road passed the Coastguard Cottages towards Ruby Bay is only single track as the passing places have been built on the playing fields and the Council are under an obligation to reinstate them given that they have terminated their lease over this area. If the Ruby Bay parking area is to be improved, consideration should be given to widening this section of single track road making it capable of taking two way traffic. 

 

My feeling is that an out of town 'Park n’ Walk' system would not work as we all know people want to park as close to their ultimate destination as they can.  I do not foresee people parking out of town and carrying all their clobber for a day at the beach into town.  The overflow carpark has only been opened a couple of times this summer so to create an out-of-town carpark for these limited occasions would seem like a lot of effort for little benefit.

 

The section of road passed the Toft leading to the Harbour should be widened by removing some of the encroaching dunes.  The road could even be widened enough to allow two-way traffic with parking on either side whereas the current section is not wide enough for two cars and as a result double yellow lines have had to be painted on the Ruby Bay side of the road.  I believe this land is owned by the xxx and therefore they would have to be on-board with the idea.

 

The idea of a residents’ parking system over July/August.  It would however have to be enforced and there would have to be somewhere households with multiple cars could park over the duration of their stay.  Permits should be limited to one vehicle per household over July/August.

 

There should be double yellow lines over the old railway bridge on both sides of the road by the entrance to Baird Place and the bus stop should be re-located so road users don’t have to overtake buses over the blind summit of a hill.

 

Some merit in the pavement being widened on the High Street by Carol’s/Appletons etc which could still allow for the provision of car parking spaces.  There should be a time limit of an hour on the parking spaces on the High Street so they aren’t used for longer term parking.

 

There has been feedback opposing the closure of Admiralty Lane to vehicles.  The reason for the opposition is that Admiralty Lane is a very useful exit route for vehicles from the Harbour and Ship Inn area.  Closure of Admiralty Lane to vehicles could further increase traffic congestion in this area.

 

There was also opposition to closure to vehicles at the west junction with Rankeillor Street with the same reason being cited.  If the problem is cyclists travelling along it the wrong way, a solution might be better and more visible signage to ensure bikes did not travel along it the wrong way.

 

One of the elected Councillors has already agreed to contact Fife Council to arrange a meeting to discuss the development of a Traffic Management plan. The possibility of making use in high season of the field next to the school and the car parking area at the surgery for additional car parking was also discussed.

 

 The villages are so small (approximately 1.63 km from the St Monans entrance to Chapel Green) that most people walk around the villages or use their cars when visiting the shops to purchase goods. This is particularly pertinent to these villages, where out of a population of approximately 640, 370 residents are aged 60+ yrs with 242 residents aged 70+ yrs.  

 

 Re-allocation of the temporary parking suspension area in the High St. to active travel and place-making would have a huge negative knock-on effect and cause further problems in relation to car-parking, which is already in short supply and unable to meet demand during the holiday periods. Also, older residents who use their cars to travel to the local shops and transport their purchases back home, would be disadvantaged.  It is highly unlikely they are going to cycle to the shops and carry their purchases back home in a basket on the front of a bike.  Removal of these parking spaces in front of the shops in the High St would therefore also have a negative impact on trade for the local retailers.

 

 Blocking off the Terrace to vehicles will cause difficulties with regard to access for Emergency vehicles and Fife Coast and Countryside Trust vehicles which require access to enable grass cutting and maintenance in Hyde Park and Archbold Park.

 

 It seems unnecessary to have a cycle path around Elie and Earlsferry when it is only likely to be used during the holiday season by tourists cycling along the coastal route.


1. We need a car park on the outskirts of the village for tourists, with a footpath from that car park into the village. This is the single most important thing. 

2. We need a sign at the top of Stenton Row saying "NO ACCESS TO RUBY BAY"

3. We need double yellow lines down Stenton Row, both sides, to ease traffic flow in summer and allow cars to pass each other.

4. The Terrace could become access only

 

Earlsferry- the main issue we feel at our end of the village is the road from Bank Street along to Earlsferry High Street.  In busy times this can take forever to navigate as cars manoeuvre between park vehicles. Think more use of double yellows along this section would greatly enhance traffic flow.

 

Fully supportive of 20mph speed limit within the village boundaries.

 

Getting the Coal Board to complete works on Grange Road to allow it to be reopened that will also be most helpful!

 

I would be supportive of making the village 20mph if nothing more than lot of little people and bikes etc

Re instate and enforce toft double yellow lines to free up choke point 

Direct traffic signs to overflow car parks at golf club and Ruby Bay 

Make admiralty lane two-way cycle route 

Speed 20mph across village 

Stop excess motorhome parking to free up parking space at Ruby Bay 

The junction of Wadeslea with A917 has virtually no visibility splay to the west due to the proximity of a building, and the visibility to the east is restricted on approach to the junction. At this point, Wadeslea is also relatively constrained due to high walls on either side. The challenge of exiting Wadeslea is further challenged by drivers and heavy goods lorries entering the village at high speeds. In my view this an accident waiting to happen. 

We need to find a way to slow drivers down as the pass through the village.

 

Twenty Plenty fine idea.

However, speed bumps are pointless and cause all sorts of untold damage to cars (ask the guys at Kwikfit, they love the increase in replacing suspension parts) 

And what heck are all those stupid poles in the middle of the roads, for example Peat Inn 

(nearly everyone of them has been hit) not always at high speed…

 

Fix the potholes instead 

The biggest problem is vehicles coming over the bridge from St Monans direction at high speed - this makes leaving Wadeslea into the main road dangerous at times. I think the same problem exists at the primary school.

 

While the above is a year-round problem the other issues are more seasonal and are to do with congestion - inconsiderate parking in the streets. Of course, there is nowhere else to park!

I have grown increasingly exasperated at the speed with which all modes of transport have been travelling along Bank Street, Links Place and Liberty. In response to the increased speed of vehicles I contacted Fife Police and asked them to intervene. They have responded and established occasional speed checks with speed guns and cautionary notices.

 

Their activity has not necessarily had the enduring influence and principally cars, school buses, delivery drivers and heavy goods vehicles continue to flout the 20mph limit along the aforementioned streets. I have now taken to contacting companies directly to draw attention to their drivers who appear to be oblivious of the speed limit.

 

I don’t believe there is sufficient signage to indicate the speed limit and I also fear that signage needs to be supported with physical impediments to help reduce the speed of vehicles. This would be my point for discussions with the council/police.

 

Speeding vehicles are generally accelerating up Park Place from the roundabout and get to 30+ by mid-way up Park Place and speed on further towards the Primary School. At the north entrance to the village they might have slowed down as a result of the pot holes and the right hand turn down Woodside but they then proceed to accelerate down Park Place to generally in excess of 30mph but usually a lot faster. Most of the traffic on Park Place speed. The cars, lorries, buses, campervans, local tradesmen, fish vans, massive lorries carrying construction items are all guilty. 

 

The Village needs Traffic calming action urgently, 20 mph in the whole Village, Speed indicators at both ends of the Village and Speed bumps all the way down Park Place along the High Street and at the exit from the Village towards St Monans.

 

Every other Village in the East Neuk has some sort of traffic calming. Lundin Links has just seen more bumps installed and everywhere else it seems to be a priority but not Elie. 

 

Speedwatch has faltered with the St Andrews Police still not organising training for locals. Relying on the general public to control this is wrong. Action from Fife Council is urgently required. 

 

I have written the Willie Rennie who can get no traction with Fife Council. They should take a leaf out of Corney and Barrow’s book by disciplining a driver for speeding in the Village after two residents sent on complaints about his driving into and out of the Village. They checked his Tracker and was found to have exceeded the speed limit on both occasions. 

 

A resident in School Wynd in Elie, has been in correspondence with Fife Council Roads for almost a year regarding the traffic on School Wynd. My main point of concern has been the physical need for cars and other vehicles to mount the footpaths to be able to pass each other when travelling in opposite direction due to the narrow width of the road.

 

I also highlighted a couple of other issues with traffic flow and suggested that Fife Council consider implementing a one-way system - at least on School Wynd. I have had responses from both Fife Council Roads and Tim Brett – too busy to review.

 

My greatest concern is when vehicles mount the footpath on the west side of the road, to avoid oncoming traffic, and then proceed along the footpath passing front doors of the homes which open directly onto the footpath. It always gets worse when there is more traffic in the village and I have witnessed two incidents lately.

 

You will note that Fife Council Roads have acknowledged receipt of my recent email but have warned me that due to heavy workload and staffing issues that they may not be able to follow up for some time. 

  

Limited time parking spaces outside shops- 12 spaces outside the four shops opposite the Kirk.  They could be restricted to 2 hours Monday – Saturday 9am – 6pm. 

 

After the Deli fire a large area of the road outside was coned off for years and it didn't disrupt the traffic flow.  Perhaps the parallel parking along part of that road could be changing to angled parking to allow more cars to legally park instead of the double parking we see so often at the moment.

 

Chapmans Wynd has 15 houses and 2 spaces for parking, Kirkpark Road and the Vennel have 22 houses without off street parking and only 17 spaces.  As most of the 3 and 4 bedroom houses which do have off street parking for one car need another space for a second if not third car I was very surprised that FC have decided to install 2 electric charging points in the Kirkpark carpark which reduces available spaces to 15.

 

Fife Council own land at the east end of Woodside Road- a long triangle of grass bordered by a privet hedge on the north side and a long low stone wall on North Street.  This could be easily turned into a carpark for 6 or 7 cars by removing the hedge. There is of course the other small public park at the corner of Woodside Place and North Street which is also mostly unused.  However, there are some well-established trees growing it in and it is on a corner and the road very narrow there which would possibly mean losing the same number of car parking spaces as creating them.

 

A suggestion that Ferry Road should lose some of its yellow lines.  I think that and the junction of Links Road into Ferry Road is worth looking into.

 

I read the report from the cycling path people which suggested that the closing off of the Terrace to all traffic would be a good idea.  That should be firmly rebutted as the consequences of closing the escape route bypassing the queues trying to get onto the High Street at Toll Green has the potential to lead to even more harbour traffic chaos. I do feel strongly that exclusive cycle paths through our villages for a very small minority of our community should not be formed out of existing thoroughfares to the detriment of vast majority of other road and pavement users most of whom are elderly.

 

A couple of summers ago cars were parking on the un-adopted pavement in Stenton Row alongside the east wall of Archbald Park.  This actually worked well.  Maybe the pavement which doesn’t lead to anywhere could be turned into parking for 6 cars instead of the 3 at present.

 

As people have suggested many times before perhaps half jokingly that we should create an out of town carpark, is now the time to suggest looking at the grassed area at the top of Park Place between the school and the Telephone Exchange? The ground to the north and west of the T.E. has been granted planning permission to build 3 houses.  One of the conditions was that they builders must enlarge and improve the opening so there is perhaps some potential for combining that work with the creation of a carpark there.

 

The Terrace- Closure to vehicles at the west junction with Rankeillor
street, access via east junction with Stenton row, for residents, I think
there would be little opposition and some support, subject to bin lorry
moverability:

 Admiralty Lane- closure to vehicles, last 35m between The Toft and
Wadeslea, I think this is well worth trying, but very clear signage would be
required at the top of Stenton Row that there is no access to Ruby Bay or
Nairn Park :

It makes sense to do this.

 

High Street- I think your suggestions of widening the pavement outside
the shops would not prove popular; the north side pavement is already wider
than the south side:

Agree that there would be no benefit in widening the pavements and such
a move would seriously negatively impact on available parking spaces.  The
money would be better spent on upgrading the existing pavements.

 I agree there is no need for additional parking facilities for bikes.
There are only about 8 permanent residents who regularly cycle round the
villages. Second home owners and tourists often bring bikes with them but
the busy tourist season only lasts for about 6-8 weeks during the year,
although Air B&Bs may lead to an extension of this period. The other
cyclists are tourists who cycle along the coastal path between all the
villages.

Park and walk: I agree the villages would benefit from this sort of facility.  The land
owner might find it useful to free up some land for this. Charging meters
could be introduced and provide an additional income for the local Estate.

Seasonal double lines in Ferry Road should be removed.

if anayone would like to add to these comments/suggestion please email enquiries@elieandearlsferrycc.org

 

 

 

At our last CC meeting held on 12th September Shelagh Mackay intimated that she was resiging from her position of Chair of E&ECC. On behalf of the whole community the committee would like to express their thanks to Shelagh for her work and dedication to this very demanding role over the past two years. We are all sad to see her leave.

As Shelagh's departute from E&ECC and and the sad death of longstanding member, Jim Robertson, leaves us with two spaces within the CC, it is hoped that we will be able to co-opt two news members. Watch this space for updates on CC members. 

Contact details for all members of the CC can be found on the HOME page.

 

For all our latest news please visit  https://www.facebook.com/ElieEarlsferry

 

 

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The Future of Elie and Earlsferry

Elie Estates have proposed some extensive developments in this area - to build some 81 new houses  (25 at Grange Road and 55 at Wadeslea) of which 24 will be “affordable homes” and available for rent.   The balance will be purchased of which the majority seem likely to be second homes or holiday rentals.  Such developments may have a dramatic effect on the villages.    The permanent population of the villages will likely stay at the same percentage (currently roughly 30%) and it remains to be seen if this will add any economic benefit to the area.

Do we wish to consider anything to change that position? If we are content with the status quo we will have to acknowledge that if Elie Estates’ plans proceed, the character of the villages will change.  Would this be for the good?   Is the percentage of full time residents too low? Should we seek to increase the proportion? If so how? Or should we be satisfied that the current ratio is ideal for those of us who live here permanently and for at least the major part of the year have easy access to first class facilities without the crowds? Are we content that the proposals of Elie Estate will make no significant difference to the village or if it does are these changes tolerable or beneficial? Do we wish to increase tourism – and if so how do we do it? How would we like our village to  look in say 10 to 20 years? What measures can we take as a community to make a difference to the present situation?

Public Meeting April 2018

These and many more questions were debated at Earlsferry Town Hall on Monday 9th April.  The Director of Housing John Mills and Director of Finance Les Robertson together with two other representatives of the administration were present to answer questions. Councillor Linda Holt East Neuk and Landward was also on the platform.  There was a large attendance (circa 150) and a lively debate in which the main opposition seemed to be that this was too big a development too far. 

There were a number of specific matters which caused concern:

Biomass Plant - that proposed for Grange would pollute the village and there is evidence to suggest that they may well be harmful to health.

Ferry Road access to Grange development was a major difficulty which the planners and developers would have to get round.

Water and Sewerage was a major concern for the Grange development. At the moment the water/sewerage can barely cope in high season.

Lack of environment assessment by Fife Council - It was undertaken by the Fife Officials that they would find out why there had been a recommendation that one was not necessary and we would be advised.

There was a perceived lack of interest from locals wanting affordable housing

Fife Council did not seem to have any  future planning for Elie and  Earlsferry, particularly affordable housing with no preference given to locals.

Traffic congestion was likely to be exacerbated.

Elie and Earlsferry is dead  for most of the time and needs more residents.

Fife Council does not get community charge income from short let properties which are registered as businesses.

Reduced population meant reduction of shops. Closure of P.O. and Bank already evidenced.

Social Housing in St. Monans causes problems and fear of this also happening in Elie and Earlsferry.

144 individual objections were lodged and ignored in relation to the change of development plan for the Grange site.

Nursing and Care Home already present in Earlsferry and Elie would be affected with proposed  new building of Care  home 

Retail outlets would take away business locally.

Ferry Road not wide enough for pavement down beside golf course.

There was a need for less second and holiday rental homes.

Some of the rents for housing associations were beyond the normal working wage.

These developments will radically change the character of the village and are irreversible.

There was too much development and that if it was necessary or desirable it should be smaller to  begin with.

The CareHome and retirement apartments were not in the Fife Plan.

The school roll is falling and something needs to be done.

As matters progressed it seemed to be the view that some form of development may be  inevitable if an application for planning permission were to be lodged in the future and that whilst there was likely to be opposition in principle that may well be in vain.  The suggestion was that effort should be directed more to moulding the proposals to make them more acceptable.  There was considerable anxiety expressed in relation to the affordable rental homes and horror stories from elsewhere suggested that some control and management was required locally.  

We would welcome your feedback both in relation to these proposals and anything else relating to the village – please use the feedback form on the menu on the website elieandearlsferrycc.org

 

Elie Estates have having another exhibition on 17th May (the April one has been postponed)  It is important that people go along and express their views.  This is important for the village and you really must get involved.

 

 

 

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