Traffic woes set to escalate as Outlander effect kicks in

Falkland Palace
Falkland Palace

A world-renowned traffic guru is heading to Falkland later this month in the hope he can help ease the village’s ‘intolerable’ congestion.

The picturesque burgh, already a favourite destination with tourists, is enjoying a massive boost in popularity thanks to the Outlander series, some of which was filmed there.

And with the prospect of new housing on the site of the former St John’s Works, traffic on Falkland’s narrow streets is likely to increase even more.

Now Falkland Community Council is to host a visit by traffic management expert Ben Hamilton-Baillie, author of ‘Traffic in Villages’, which addresses traffic and parking problems in communities similar to Falkland.

Bristol-based Mr Hamilton-Baillie will be given a guided tour of Falkland by community council chairman Peter Burnan, and the following evening, May 15, he’ll deliver a talk in the community hall at 7pm, which is open to the public.

Local police, Fife Council officials and Scottish Government representatives have also been invited.

Falkland Estate Trust and the National Trust for Scotland, along with several individuals, have contributed to the cost of the visit and if Mr Hamilton-Baillie is taken on as a consultant ‘serious’ funding will have to be found.

“Falkland is privileged to be a tourist destination of great importance,” said Mr Burnan.

“But we have narrow idiosyncratic streets with dangerous corners and crossings.

“We have the challenge of a new development of around 100 houses and we inhabit a culture where it is not unusual for a household to have more than one car.

“The resulting constriction has become intolerable. But we have a unique opportunity to do something about it.”

Mr Burnan said that ‘Traffic in Villages’ had been a source of great inspiration to the community council and that the case studies featured were significant for villages like Falkland, which welcomed visitors but to some extent were ‘drowning in tourism’.

“Our streets were not designed for modern traffic like people carriers, minibuses and coaches as well as private cars,” he commented.

“How to manage all this is a real challenge for Falkland.”