Roads operator suggests scheme to improve Albert Bridge safety

A WHOLE new surface is to be laid on Albert Bridge in a desperate bid to improve safety.

Concerns had been raised following a series of accidents involving pedestrians tripping on the uneven surface. And roads operator Bear Scotland had previously promised to address the problem.

In the latest twist, the company has suggested resurfacing the footway with a bituminous material, which will not be compromised by vehicles mounting the pavement.

In an email to the town’s six councillors seeking their views on the suggestion, Ian King from Bear Scotland, said: “Due to Hawick being an historic town and the location of the footway being in a conservation area, we are proposing a process called ‘StreetPrint’, that will provide a more traditional appearance to the footway that would suit the surroundings.”

StreetPrint, which has been successfully carried out in Lauder and St Boswells, is a patented technology and application process that produces a realistic alternative to traditional brick, slate, stone and other design effects by texturing new and existing asphalt surfaces.

Mr King explained: “StreetPrint utilises unique heating equipment and specialised coatings designed to work together to provide a superior surfacing solution, resulting in a durable, cost effective surface with low maintenance requirements.

“This product in essence heats the bituminous surface and a pattern of choice is pressed into the surface that can then be painted in a choice of colours.”

The advantages listed included a wide variety of colours and patterns available to meet design needs; continuous crack resistant solid surface prevents water ingress, weed growth, shifting and trip hazards; speed of installation resulting in less on-site disruption and a bituminous surface retains more heat therefore will not freeze as quickly as concrete paving.

Mr King added: “This solution will enable Buccleuch Road in Hawick to have a bituminous footway as planned but with the look of a paved footway that will have a long functional life whilst being more aesthetically in keeping with an historic borders town.”