Fresh calls for NHS bosses to face public

Parking issues in Darnick's Chiefswood Road due to short stay restrictions at the BGH
Parking issues in Darnick's Chiefswood Road due to short stay restrictions at the BGH

With continued problems of cars parking along the main thoroughfare in Darnick and on residential streets, villagers have called for a second meeting with NHS bosses.

The issues first materialised late last year, after new parking restrictions were introduced at the BGH.

Resident Gordon Wingfield has written to health board chief executive Calum Campbell and has called for a second public meeting to be held on the matter.

In his letter to Mr Campbell, Mr Wingfield said: “The situation now is as bad as it has ever been, and as far as I can see, there has been no improvement whatsoever: indeed, it may even be a little worse.

“My house is situated near to the Abbotsford Road junction with Tower Road and, quite frankly, I am sick and tired of being unable to park outside my own house.

“Nor on any weekday, between the hours of 8.30am and 5.30pm, can my visitors or contractors get anywhere close to our entrance.”

Mr Wingfield added that the “narrowing of the arteries” caused by cars parking along Abbotsford Road was “an accident waiting to happen”.

In his letter, Mr Wingfield added: “Mr Campbell, this congestion of our streets has become intolerable for those who live here, and I really think it is time you had another meeting with the Darnick residents who, I am sure, would want to hear some proposals for a proper solution to the problem.”

Community councillor and fellow Darnick resident Bridget Khursheed has supported Mr Wingfield’s call for another public meeting, having helped arrange an initial meeting in December.

NHS Borders’ board is expected to consider the implementation of a 35-minute ‘no return’ period in the short-stay car parks, in addition to the use of number plate reading cameras to help enforcement of the restrictions.

It is understood that a local bus company is also considering launching a shuttle bus service between the hospital and Galashiels, Langlee and Tweedbank.

Since enforcement started in the BGH car parks at the end of November, almost 400 appeals have been submitted against parking tickets, with over half being accepted by the health board’s appeals panel.