Denholm campaign success after U-turn on Canongate junction

SCOTTISH Borders Council has agreed to change the junction between Denholm’s Canongate and Minto Road back to the way it was originally.

The U-turn follows a campaign by the village’s community council to have the traffic priority changed back to drivers travelling from Minto having the right of way – despite previous members pushing for the Canongate to be given the right of way two years ago.

Local member Jock Houston commented this week: “Sight lines at the junction of the Canongate and Minto Road are not good, there’s no getting away from that.

“But the last Community Council, after consultation, favoured traffic going up and down the Canongate having right of way and the roads department implemented that. The change of priority did not go down well with everyone and the present community council asked SBC to review it.”

Since then, after numerous requests, SBC engineers suggested three options for the junction, namely either the status quo, to go back to previous layout, or a mini roundabout – with the community council deciding unanimously to return to the traditional arrangement.

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council has confirmed that an order will be placed in the coming week to change the junction back with a request that the work is undertaken in the next 30 days, stating: “Although not originally intended as a trial, the existing junction arrangement has proven to be operationally problematic in terms of visibility and balance of flows.

“However, there is no guarantee that the work will be carried out in this timescale. It is very much dependant on the existing workload of our contracting division.”

Commenting on the agreement, Denholm Community Council secretary Will Roberts stated: “I am sure the community council will be delighted with this decision.”

Councillor Zandra Elliot agreed that the community council had a valid point, adding: “Since the cemetery road was blocked off the Canongate has become very busy and congested. Obviously though, this will not be popular with everybody as some people park their cars at the top end.”

And fellow elected member Stuart Marshall added: “For many months this junction at Canongate has been high on Denholm Community Council’s agenda, they have relentlessly campaigned for its priorities to be changed.”

A further request for double white lines at the Bedrule junction has not been agreed.