Councillor’s Earlston speed limit plea rejected

EARLSTON councillor John Paton-Day has expressed disappointment that his appeal for a permanent speed restriction of 20mph in the village has been rejected, writes Andrew Keddie.

And he maintains that by shunning his plea and taking no action to resurface the A6105 at the east end of Earlston, Scottish Borders Council will need to spend more in the long run.

At last week’s full council meeting, Mr Paton-Day (Leaderdale and Melrose) asked Councillor Jim Fullarton, executive member for roads and infrastructure, if he would take immediate action to resurface and level the road.

Mr Paton-Day explained the degradation of the surface had been exacerbated by the recent diversion caused by the closure of the road bridge between Leaderfoot and the Redpath junction, forcing heavy goods vehicles into Earlston.

Mr Fullarton said staff is his department carried out annual inspections of all A-class roads in the Borders to arrive at a prioritised list of resurfacing schemes.

“The A6105 east end of Earlston High Street has been inspected. However, its current condition does not warrant it being included in terms of other priorities within the current or medium term [five year] programme of schemes.”

Mr Fullarton said he would not favour the blanket imposition of a 20mph speed limit, citing a traffic survey carried out over five days last winter which recorded 16,572 vehicle movements at an average speed of 22mph.

“These are not unreasonable speeds ... they certainly compare favourably with other areas of the village,” he added.

Mr Paton-Day told us: “Spending money now could save the council money tomorrow and another severe winter will only make matters worse. I will continue to keep up my campaign which, I believe, has considerable community support.”