Parkdaill ‘a disaster waiting to happen’

Hawick councillor Watson McAteer on the narrow footpath at the side of the A7.
Hawick councillor Watson McAteer on the narrow footpath at the side of the A7.

The A7 at Parkdaill in Hawick has been condemned as a tragedy waiting to happen by a town councillor.

Calls have been made to widen the pavement on the Edinburgh-Carlisle road as it is so narrow that people are incapable of manoeuvring a pram on it and are forced to step out onto the busy road, putting themselves at risk, according to a Hawick and Hermitage councillor Watson McAteer.

He said that it has been almost two months since Transport Scotland promised to complete an investigation into the case for the introduction of a 40mph limit there.

He told members of Hawick Community Council on Monday: “Parkdaill is an absolute disaster.

“I just about got wiped out there today, and that was down to the speed of a car which overtook coming into Hawick on Parkdaill as I was coming around the corner.

“As for the pavement on the other end, I’ll not accept any excuse that they can’t make that pavement a bit wider or else somebody is going to get killed on it.

“It’s as simple as that. It would just take two heavy vehicles coming along at that narrowest point.

“It is an absolute disaster, and it is going to happen. It’s a real disaster area.”

Fellow Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson added: “That’s been a point of concern for a number of years.

“I’ve had several constituents raise that point, and it’s absolutely ridiculous that they are not listening to what the people are saying.”

A spokeswoman for Transport Scotland said that following its nationwide speed limit review in 2012, it was determined that no change should be made to the existing speed limit in Parkdaill.

However, she added: “ In light of comments received more recently, we instructed our operating company to further assess the speed limit at Parkdaill, and we expect to make a recommendation in the coming weeks.

“The road safety performance of the A7 south of Hawick has continued to improve.

“As part of our overall risk reduction and general upgrading, the A7 was resurfaced with improved materials earlier this year.

“In addition, an ongoing investigation is looking at ways to enhance pedestrian safety by maximising the footway width and removing tree canopies to enhance light and visibility through the area.

“This investigation is also expected to be completed in the coming weeks.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said there had been no record of a collision having been reported there between August and October of this year.