Kate Livingston: Parking at Helix is one verge of crazy

I may be wrong '“ let's face it, that wouldn't be unusual '“ but I'm pretty willing to bet that the people behind the opening of Helix Park will have been just a little stunned by its success.

Kate Livingstone. New background.
Kate Livingstone. New background.

On glorious days like this, when the sun is splitting the trees (forgive me if normal conditions have resumed by the time you read this), Helix Park has swarms of visitors: walking, cycling, scooting, with dogs, without dogs, with kids, without kids. In short, it’s very, very busy.

There are no shortage of reasons for this. My grandchildren love the playpark and I will treasure the memory of my grandson sitting on the massive swing, singing at the top of his voice, ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ ...

My daughter secretly loves to indulge her love of roller skating on those sweeping paths (okay, maybe its not so secret now, sorry, Emma!).

My friend’s older children have raved about the chance to try kayaking, and Falkirk should be very proud indeed to have a playpark that is also accessible to disabled children in wheelchairs.

And, of course, I have often met visitors from other parts of Scotland and indeed all over the world who’ve been wowed by the scale and equine grace of the Kelpies.

I’m willing to bet no-one forsaw just how popular it would be – so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt and hoping they didn’t realise that the parking situation would verge on crazy.

The number of cars that now bulldoze their way on to the grass verges beside the play park – on both sides of the road – has become ridiculous.

As I am a charitable person, I’m going to hope that they don’t realise their is a huge car park just metres away at the Falkirk Stadium. And I have never seen it full to capacity on a non-matchday yet.

Something needs to be done – quickly.

Not only are the cars ploughing up the grass – which flies in the face of everything the Helix is supposed to represent – but it is getting downright dangerous.

We are now seeing young children being decanted from their cars onto a busy road.

I sincerely hope that this isn’t an accident waiting to happen but do we really have to wait until tragedy strikes until something is done?

In the Helix, Falkirk district has something it can be hugely proud of and I accept that in many ways it is a victim of its own success. It’s a wonderful facility and it is fantastic that so many use it.

But let’s do something about this before it hits the headlines for all the wrong reasons and, God forbid, before someone really has cause to regret it.