ALBERT BRIDGE SAFETY FEARS

SERIOUS concerns have been raised over the safety of Albert Bridge.

It comes after 54-year-old Fiona Huggan was left badly bruised as a result of tripping on the uneven paving slabs.

Mrs Huggan, who suffered head injuries (pictured) and bruising to her arms and legs, fell into the wall.

But she admitted it could have been a whole lot worse if she had fallen the other way onto the busy A7.

She told the Hawick News: “I tripped on the high pavement and hit my head off the wall and then I hit the ground. The slab there is raised about an inch, it’s totally unsafe.

“If I’d fallen the other way then I don’t know what might have happened. I’m just grateful to everyone who came to my assistance.”

Transport operator Bear, who look after the maintenance of the A7, have been asked time and again by councillors and the community council to fix the problem pavements on the bridge.

And there had been a promise that the slabs would be replaced with asphalt last month, although that failed to materialise.

Now Councillor Davie Paterson believes it will take a serious accident before the matter is addressed.

He said: “Once again there has been another incident of someone falling on the dangerous paving slabs at the Albert Bridge.

“Does it take someone to trip in front of a car or under a lorry before Bear will do something to make this bridge safe again?”

Under instruction from the community council, Councillor Stuart Marshall recently met with a representative from Bear. And he revealed there are plans for improved signage and a new surface, although this will all depend on funding becoming available.

He conceded: “We must make sure that they do everything they can to ensure it is safe for pedestrians and motorists alike. At peak times it’s just bedlam trying to get from one end to the other.”

A spokesperson for Bear said that monthly inspections had identified defects on the bridge in December and January, which were repaired, but no further problems have been discovered. “Work to replace the slabs on the bridge with an asphalt surface is expected to be carried out this autumn,” said the spokesperson.

A safety inspection for May was due to be carried out on Wednesday.

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