Concerns grow over road-safety ‘impasse’

Councillor Watson McAteer
Councillor Watson McAteer

Scottish Borders Council’s “reluctance” to tackle road safety issues in the town has been criticised this week.

And one Hawick councillor is demanding that SBC “stops dithering” over the ongoing safety issues in Albert Road

Hawick and Denholm members Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall say they are becoming increasingly concerned at the lack of action over many road-safety issues which are raised by their constituents on an almost weekly basis.

Speaking to the Hawick News, Mr McAteer said: “Both myself and Councillor Marshall have engaged Amey, the trunk roads authority, council officials and the police to review issues at several locations, but we remain far from achieving a solution that meets the needs and desires of the various communities and the people impacted.

“As a result we have now written to the council chief executive asking that she takes an interest in this matter and helps resolve the impasse.”

The pair have visited many hot spots throughout the town including the new layout in Albert Road which has resulted in “several near misses”, and have spoken to concerned residents over speeding in Burnfoot Road and Mansfield Road where, according to Mr McAteer, speeding motorists are a “constant threat”.

But councillor Marshall says he’s particularly concerned about the ongoing problems in Albert Road: “With one of the largest car parks in the Borders and a very busy High School on its doorstep, I think the time for dithering is over – it’s action that the public are demanding and the sooner the better.”

And Mr McAteer added: “We appreciate that the council need to have guidelines to work to and that officers are correctly following them to ensure consistency.”

And he added that community concerns must be heeded: “We however believe it is also important that the express wishes of the community are listened and responded to whenever possible especially when there is a risk of injury.”