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Children’s hospice charity urges motorists not to block access to Robin House with Loch Lomond congestion

Robin House, Balloch
Robin House, Balloch

A children’s charity has urged people to respect government advice and not travel to beauty spots following the impact of congestion on their hospice over the weekend.

Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) said that parked cars had caused access issues to emergency vehicles at Robin House.

The Balloch hospice saw an influx of traffic in the surrounding area as people flocked to Loch Lomond to enjoy the sunny weather.

A CHAS statement on social media said: “A plea from Robin House: we would politely ask people to respect government advice and refrain from travelling to beauty spots such as Balloch. The road up towards our hospice and around the corner has recently been congested with parking.

“On Sunday, an ambulance had difficulty accessing the hospice due to the congestion. We’ve also had members of the public using our car park, occupying all disabled bays and preventing families from visiting.

“We appreciate that everyone is keen to go outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather but it’s so important that we support families during this time and that emergency services can easily access the hospice. Thank you so much for your understanding.”

Scots have been encouraged not to travel outwith their local areas for recreational purposes, with Nicola Sturgeon suggesting a distance of around five miles.

But the guidelines could be written into law if they are breached repeatedly, Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf has warned.

Scotland could also have to re-enter lockdown if there is evidence of another spike in coronavirus cases, he said.

Mr Yousaf was asked about the first weekend of the “phase one” rules on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Tuesday.

The First Minister has spoken of her concern after road use increased by more than 60% from the previous weekend, with Police Scotland issuing almost 800 dispersal notices.

The Justice Secretary told Good Morning Scotland: “We have really little headroom in relation to the R number. We’ve only just begun to have the trajectory going in the right direction in relation to hospital admissions, ICU admissions.

“We’re still reporting people dying every single day. If people do flout the guidance, that’s why we have to give consideration to putting that guidance into law.

“But inevitably the consequence of this will be that we will not progress through the phases of lockdown and, frankly, we’ll go back to phase zero, which is what the last 10 weeks looked like.”