Parking woes in village as BGH fines start

Borders General Hospital staff are being forced to park on the grass verges as new parking restrictions come into force.
Borders General Hospital staff are being forced to park on the grass verges as new parking restrictions come into force.

NHS Borders has been accused of moving the BGH parking problem into Darnick, with new parking fines having come into force this week.

On both Monday and Tuesday more than 60 cars descended on the village seeking parking outwith the hospital grounds, following the implementation of four-hour maximum stays in two car parks at the BGH.

A further 60 or so cars also took to the verges of the Huntlyburn road to escape the restrictions, although those parked on the access road to the NHS unit there were slapped with £90 fines.

One Darnick resident told The Southern: “NHS Borders have shovelled up the problem into a wheelbarrow and tipped it out onto Darnick.”

He said that villagers had been assured when the hospital was being built that traffic flow and parking in Darnick would not be affected by the BGH.

The resident added: “The police put up no parking signs right the way along High Cross Avenue to the bottom of Chiefswood Road for Melrose Sevens because they feel it is dangerous for so many cars to be parking along there.

“There is a phenomenal amount of buses that go up and down High Cross Avenue, it is a major route for buses into the BGH, and with solid parking there is nowhere for them to go if they meet any other vehicle.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said “We are aware of an increase in parking around Abbotsford Road and High Cross Avenue. Following a report of congestion, officers attended and no traffic offences were identified, but police will be monitoring the situation.”

David McLuckie, director of estates and facilities for NHS Borders said: “There are more than 600 long stay car parking spaces available within the grounds of the Borders General Hospital.

“Staff who are unable to find a space within the site are expected to park safely in an alternative location.”

Last week Calum Campbell, NHS Borders chief executive, said that ‘great improvements’ had been seen in terms of increased access to parking spaces at peak times during the four-week transitional period before the fines came into effect.