Costs set to scupper roundabout scheme

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Councillors are expected to abandon an idea to sell sponsorship opportunities on Galashiels’ roundabouts after the costs to companies spun out of control.

The idea was first mooted by Scottish Borders Council in 2009, but cutbacks have meant that neighbourhood services staff would no longer be able to carry out the ­installation or necessary maintenance.

In 2009 it had been proposed that a minimum bid to obtain sponsorship rights for a roundabout on the town’s inner relief road would be £2,500.

However, if the scheme was to go ahead now, because a third party would have to install and maintain the signs, the cost per roundabout would be in excess of £10,000.

Members of the council’s environment and infrastructure committee are due to meet today (Thursday) to discuss a report on the matter, which recommends that the scheme is put on hold.

The local road safety working group, made up of councillors, council officers and the police, previously expressed concerns that such signage could distract drivers.

Nine companies had expressed an interest in the sponsorship opportunities when the local authority approached firms in late 2010.