Albert Bridge claims another fall victim

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THE dangerous state of the surface on Albert Bridge has resulted in another pedestrian being injured in a nasty fall.

Only a month ago the Hawick News reported that 54-year-old Fiona Huggan had been left badly bruised as a result of tripping on the bridge’s uneven paving slabs, and now the problem has claimed another victim – who was treated at Borders General Hospital.

The faller, who didn’t want to be named, has been left with smashed glasses, a severely bruised face, cut lip and grazed knee, after the incident on Thursday – and Councillor Stuart Marshall is calling for immediate action. “There can be no doubt that given the amount of people coming to grief on the uneven footpaths on the bridge that something needs to be done to make them safer”, he told the Hawick News.

Roads operator BEAR Scotland announced plans to replace the slabs with asphalt back in April, but following Mrs Huggan’s fall said the work was scheduled for autumn. And although since last week the problem area has been cordoned off, the latest victim says it should be repaired as a matter of urgency.

Describing her accident, she said: “I was on the pavement on the Burns Club side when one minute I was walking along, and the next minute I was on the ground. The slabs were sticking up and I must have tripped, and I went straight down. I broke my glasses and really bashed my face and head, and got such a fright. Luckily I didn’t fall onto the road, and a workman and lady driving by stopped to help me.”

She added: “I know many more people who have fallen there, and something needs to be done before someone is more seriously hurt.”

Councillor Marshall added: “I have written to Bear and Transport Scotland to find out how long it will be before they treat this with the urgency it deserves. Thankfully, the lady in question is making a good recovery, but once again it’s very sad that a member of the public has come to grief on this part of the bridge.”

A BEAR Scotland spokesperson told the Hawick News: “A survey of the Albert Bridge footways took place last week and information was gathered to help prepare a suitable design to resurface these. During this time some defect repairs were also undertaken. Ongoing safety inspections of the footways will continue and any defects identified will be repaired.”