'Gridlock and chaos' - Fears for public safety in scenic Scots village where residents feel 'trapped' at weekends

Dozens of drivers flocked to a scenic Scots village at the weekend which resulted in “gridlock and chaos" and residents being “trapped” in - and 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 hill of a narrow, curved road leading into Blackness near Linlithgow 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.”

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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.

Cars were parked end-to-end along one side of the road in Blackness on Sunday. Pic: Paul Hopkins.Cars were parked end-to-end along one side of the road in Blackness on Sunday. Pic: Paul Hopkins.
Cars were parked end-to-end along one side of the road in Blackness on Sunday. Pic: Paul Hopkins.

"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 (Blackness Castle) opening."

Tourist numbers in Blackness 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” in Blackness 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, which overlooks the Firth of Forth, 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.

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“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.”

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