Council bosses have pledged to take action after being alerted to a bridge in Hawick having been left in a dangerous condition by a suspected car crash.
Scottish Borders Council officer are organising repairs after being alerted to damage to iron railings on Kirkwynd Bridge in Slitrig Crescent.
The potential peril was brought to their attention after a three-year-old boy almost took a nasty tumble through a gaping hole in the fencing on the 19th century crossing last week.
Luckily, his dad grabbed him just before he fell the five feet down to Slitrig Water below.
It is believed the railings were damaged when a car crashed into the bridge about two months ago.
Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson said he raised the issue of the missing railings several weeks ago, and this week he renewed his call for action after the toddler’s near-accident, prompting the council to put up a temporary barrier.
He said: “I was contacted by several constituents with regards to the railings that are missing at Kirkwynd Bridge.
“One of them was saying that to leave it as it is would be totally irresponsible.
“He’d been walking across the bridge with his three-year-old bairn, and the bairn nearly fell down through the hole in the railings.
“He asked me if something can be done to board it up because it is a really dangerous, particularly for young kids.
“He also wanted to know who would take responsibility if someone gets injured. He was, quite naturally, very angry.
“They are iron railings, and I think what has happened is that a car has went into them and left something like a 4ft gap, opening up a four or five feet drop into the water.
“That may not be a big drop for an adult but a bairn could get really hurt if they fall.
“This man had to grab his bairn. He said ‘Davie, if I hadn’t been there he would have smashed his face’.
Since last week’s incident, the council has taken action to make the bridge safe and pledged to carry out full repairs.
A spokesperson for the authority said: “The council has put in place a temporary barrier to ensure the area is made safe ahead of a full repair.
“We are in discussions with contractors and investigating how the repairs can be undertaken.”