One-way road review has ‘slipped’ admits Turnbull

Hawick High Street
Hawick High Street

The outcome of the review into the town’s one-way traffic system won’t be made public until the new year.

This week Hawick councillor George Turnbull admitted that some council business had “slipped” following the opening of the Borders Railway and the Tour of Britain event.

Andrew Farquhar made the call for the review in May this year at a meeting of the Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum but has heard nothing since.

The review request came after a survey by regeneration group Future Hawick showed overwhelming support for a complete change from the current one-way set-up which sees traffic travelling south along the High Street.

When the Hawick News contacted Scottish Borders Council this week to ask what stage the review was at, a spokesperson said it hadn’t started: “Council officers are currently arranging to revisit previous consultation work undertaken as part of the one-way system trial which began in February 2008, with a view to reporting back to Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum at the start of 2016.”

But according to Mr Turnbull, the review is under way, and he added: “I am sure that you will appreciate that with the opening of the new Borders Railway and the Tour of Britain events other projects have slipped. I can assure you that this project has started and is currently being worked on and it is expected that a report will be presented to the Teviot and Liddesdale Area Forum early in 2016.

“I am confident that the appropriate council officials will contact many sections of the community to gauge the current situation and will look at all the relevant aspects before completing and reporting back.”

Commenting on the situation, Mr Farquhar said: “This is an important issue. Future Hawick carried out a survey at the start of the year and it showed several things including huge support for change in the way the traffic flows in the town. The other things highlighted in the report have been dealt with by Future Hawick volunteers.”

Speaking to the Hawick News this week, one shopkeeper said: “I was delighted when Andrew Farquhar asked for a review in the spring but the fact that nothing will be reported back until 2016 is depressing.

“It’s obvious that those carrying out this review 
don’t have to make a living in the real world.”