Thoughtless motorist madness making life dangerous in Blackness

A small village which has become an Outlander tourist destination does not want a return of the dangerous gridlock chaos of last summer.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 3:45 pm

Residents praised Falkirk Council for its investment in traffic measures to stop congestion problems on the main road in and out of Blackness, including the introduction of double yellow lines and designated parking spaces.

However, the double yellow lines recently proved to be little deterrent to some – especially if they are not being monitored.

One householder, from nearby St Ninan’s Way, said: “Unfortunately visiting motorists have chosen to ignore the double yellow lines and are again causing dangerous traffic issues. The brae was blocked up at around 2pm recently – this is not the busiest time.

The main road in and out of Blackness is becoming a concern once more as motorists ignore double yellow lines

"If it were we could easily have had another gridlock situation again. Pedestrians are also having to cross the road to use the pavement on the other side due to the cars blocking the pavement.”

Now residents are asking the council has plans to put parking attendants in place for weekends, or other measures intended to ensure motorists adhere to the rules and keep congestion to a minimum.

Last summer the stretch of road, which is the main route in and out of the village, became a traffic nightmare as scores of motorists flocked to Blackness, causing “gridlock and chaos” and effectively making residents prisoners in their own homes.

Cars were parked end-to-end on the narrow road leading into the village, with drivers turning at the bottom and others trying to come down in the opposite direction.

The current doulbe yellow line parking restrictions seem to have little effect in Blackness

One 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”.

At the time 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."

Visitor numbers in the village have increased in recent times, due in large part to Blackness Castle featuring in the Scottish time travel drama Outlander.

At the time Mr Hopkins revealed his real concerns the lack of parking or regulation could result in a bad accident.

Falkirk Council stated it was considering introducing double yellow lines on the approach road to Blackness to ease the congestion and has since put them in place.

Last year the council urged 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.

In light of this recent development, a Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of issues in Blackness and would remind motorists that parking is not permitted on double yellow lines. Our parking attendants will be in the area enforcing these restrictions.”