State of Hawick’s roads driving councillors potty

Hawick councillor Davie Paterson in Weensland Road.
Hawick councillor Davie Paterson in Weensland Road.

The state of some of Hawick’s roads is driving two of the town’s councillors potty.

George Turnbull has been out and about in his Hawick and Hermitage ward assessing the growing number of potholes to be found there.

He’s photographed the worst areas and is calling on Scottish Borders Council to address the problem as a high priority despite the ongoing budget pressures it faces.

Mr Turnbull acknowledges that money had been found to patch up parts of Weensland Road, but he believes much more needs to be done.

Other roads he has identified in his ward riddled with potholes include Slitrig Cresent and Twirlees Terrace.

He said: “The potholes in Twirlees Terrace, especially where you turn left from St Ninian’s Road, urgently need attention, and the same applies in Slitrig Crescent.

“While the problem in some parts of Weensland Road had been worsening by the day, one problem area has just been addressed.

“The extra money identified for Weensland Road is for another section coming into town from the Denholm direction.

“Given the poor state of the roads, the council will have to look at the budget and make road improvements a high priority as the general condition is alarming and the amount of damage to vehicles is on the increase and understandably so.”

His views are shared by fellow ward councillor Davie Paterson, and he has contacted the council’s roads department to voice his concerns.

He said: “The stretch from Slitrig to Newcastleton is an absolute disgrace, to be perfectly honest.

“We send out workers to fix a problem and, because of the timber lorries, it’s gone again in a few weeks.

“Whenever funding is available, we need to use it to keep on top of the problem because these potholes are making our roads very dangerous.”

A council spokesperson said: “The council does have a robust inspection and investigation system that allows for funds to be prioritised and directed to deal with pothole repairs in line with current response standards.

“Scottish Borders Council is committed to maintaining its road network as best as it can, with an additional £2.4m provided in September 2016 to spend on roads and bridges in 2016-17, as well as the budget announcement in February 2017, which has committed an extra £15.6m over 10 years for essential works to roads and key bridges, taking roads capital funding to almost £67m over that period.”

The spokesperson revealed that potholes in Weensland Road and Twirlees Terrace had been filled, and those in Slitrig Crescent “are due to be filled in as soon as resources are available”.

A section of Weensland Road, between the 30mph signs and Weensland Park, will also be resurfaced, using the additional £880,00 capital funding coming from the Scottish Government.

This work has not been programmed yet but will be undertaken sometime in 2017-18.

As part of the additional £2.4m extra funding for roads and bridges agreed last September, the council still has Gladstone Street to resurface.

That work is currently programmed for this spring.

The spokesperson added: “Scottish Borders Council has not finalised its main planned programme of revenue and capital Works for 2017-18, so we can’t confirm what other, if any, streets in Hawick will be included.”

The council receives more than 1,000 reports from the public each year about potholes on the region’s road network, and in 2014-15 it spent £592,000 repairing them.

The council paid out £48,000 in the seven years to 2013-14 in compensation to owners of vehicles damaged because of the state of its roads.

The highest payout came as a result of the winter of 2012-13, when £12,514 was handed out.

To report a pothole, call 0300 1001800.