Fife park & ride charges: What happens next?

The closing date for objecting to plans to introduce charges to Fife's park and ride facilities has passed.

Fife Council wants to launch a £1 daily charge to tackle commuters using the Ferrytoll and Halbeath facilities as a cheap alternative to airport parking – and pour the revenue into frontline services.

But its plan sparked a backlash led by the Conservative group on the local authority.

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It said motorists were being penalised for doing what the council wanted them to do, by leaving their cars and taking to public transport.

The Tory group launched a campaign to encourage Fifers to make objections in a bid to kill off the proposed charges.

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The opposition group thanked all who responded, and explained what should happen next.

Dave Dempsey, group leader, said “We’ve been heartened by the number of members of the public contacting us to ask how to object or to share their reasons for objecting. Now that the closing date has passed, it’s worth explaining what happens next.

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“Everyone who lodged an objection will get a letter or email explaining why their reasons are invalid. The Council officer tasked with sending these out has no option. Councillors set the process in motion, so, for now, it’s Council policy and officers have to implement it.

“Your letter/email will include an invitation to withdraw your objection. If you do, it’ll be as if you’d never objected. You have an absolute right not to and no need to justify your decision. A simple ‘I wish to maintain my objection’ is all you need to send back.

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“All the objections that aren’t withdrawn will be presented to councillors, probably in the early autumn.

“That’s when the decision will be made – when we’ll find out whether the quantity and quality of public opinion is enough to persuade councillors, many of whom aren’t enthusiastic about charges, to do the right thing and throw out this proposal”.