Calls going out for Hawick bus stops to be revamped

Councillors Stuart Marshall and Watson McAteer in Mart Street, Hawick.
Councillors Stuart Marshall and Watson McAteer in Mart Street, Hawick.

Councillors say bus shelters at a key gateway into Hawick should be made to look more welcoming.

At Hawick Community Council’s meeting on Monday, there was a consensus that the three shelters in Mart Street fail to create a positive impression of the town for travellers arriving by public transport.

Concerns were also raised by committee vice-chairman Cameron Knox at the poor state of the street generally.

The layout of the shelters and its implications for pedestrian safety was another issue discussed.

No funding has been allocated to carry out any improvements, but a dialogue is now under way with council officers in a bid to find a solution to the problem.

Hawick and Denholm councillors Watson McAteer and Stuart Marshall believe that revitalising Mart Street should be made a priority.

They have been exploring possible solutions and have suggested that it would make an ideal community project.

Mr McAteer said: “I am delighted that Hawick Community Council is backing action to address the deteriorating state and clear road safety issues at the Mart Street bus stops.

“Visitors entering Hawick by public transport are currently being greeted by an aged facility that is not fit for purpose, and consequently their impressions of our town are being badly skewed.

“We have been pursuing this issue with council officers, who are understanding of our concerns.

“I would encourage a local project where stakeholders and interested parties could come together to find a solution to what is an ongoing problem.

“The shelters are a bit worn-out, but it’s mainly the general layout that is a concern.

“We have traffic, including buses and cars, negotiating near pedestrians at the rear, towards the supermarket, and that creates a road safety concern.

“There is recognition from a town planning perspective that this area could benefit from an overhaul.

“Unfortunately, at this time, there does not appear to be any council cash, but that needs exploring.

“We have suggested all councillors get involved with the community council to see what can be done.”

Mr Marshall added: “Tackling the ongoing issues associated with the Mart Street bus stops must be a priority in the town.

“We have been working with council officers to establish if funding would be available to refurbish this eyesore.

“The traffic flows, congestion and obvious pedestrian safety issues all need to be addressed.

“I am pleased that Hawick Community Council is adding its views to this, and hopefully, along with all other Hawick councillors, we can discuss how to resolve and improve this important gateway in our town.”

The bus shelters were provided numerous years ago as part of a planning arrangement with Safeway ahead of the opening of its then supermarket in the town, now a Morrisons.