'Gridlock and chaos' in Blackness

Dozens of drivers flocked to Blackness at the weekend resulting in “gridlock and chaos" and residents being “trapped” in.

By Jamie McKenzie
Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 8:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 8:29 am
The road in and out of Blackness was gridlocked on Sunday with visitors flocking to the village.  Pic: Paul Hopkins
The road in and out of Blackness was gridlocked on Sunday with visitors flocking to the village. Pic: Paul Hopkins

Locals fear the problem will only get worse unless action is taken soon.

Pictures shared on social media showed cars parked end-to-end on the narrow road leading into Blackness around lunchtime on Sunday, with drivers turning at the bottom and others trying to come down in the opposite direction.

Local resident Paul Hopkins said he was in his garden in St Ninian's Way when he heard numerous motorists tooting their horns, often “for a minute at a time.”

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

He said: "It's probably a combination of lockdown easing starting to free up travel and the fact it was a beautiful day, as well as the attractions here - but it's not managed. It's a cul-de-sac village as well.

"People were turning at the bottom and realising it was gridlocked and there was nowhere to park, then trying to leave but then realising they can not leave.

"This has become a bit of the norm here for a while and on Sunday it was chaos, and this was without the pub or the castle opening."

Tourist numbers in the village have surged in recent years, with one explanation that Blackness Castle features in the popular Outlander television series.

Mr Hopkins, who estimates there were more than 50 extra cars in the village on Sunday, fears the lack of parking or regulation of it could result in a bad accident and is calling for action from the authorities.

A message posted alongside his picture on social media described “gridlock and chaos” and called for more parking to cater for visitors, adding: “Residents trapped at weekends, we can't get out the village and if we do we lose our spaces.”

The village also sits on the John Muir Way and Mr Hopkins worries about the speed of some cyclists on the roads there and possible collisions with pedestrians.

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: "We are aware of the demands for parking in the village and the challenges faced given the increased popularity of Blackness as a destination.

“There is very limited public road space available within the village and all possible additional road space is currently being used for parking provision, where space allows.

“However, we are considering the introduction of double yellow line waiting restrictions on the approach road to Blackness.

“We would urge drivers and cyclists to be considerate at all times and use the roads in a manner which does not compromise the safety of pedestrians or other road users.”

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you