Crash driver calling for wall to be fixed

Elizabeth Birse, 88, at the dangerous dyke near Holylee on the A72.
Elizabeth Birse, 88, at the dangerous dyke near Holylee on the A72.

Drivers’ lives are being put in danger by a crumbling roadside wall near Innerleithen, according to a woman involved in an accident there.

Elizabeth Birse was involved in a crash at the site, on the A72 near Thornyhill, last year, and she is calling for action to stop the same thing happening to others.

The 88-year-old, of Innerleithen, wrote off her car after running into a boulder which had rolled from the wall onto the road east of Walkerburn in April 2016.

While Mrs Birse was left shaken but not physically hurt by the accident, she fears others might not be so lucky, and now she is calling on Scottish Borders Council to put pressure on the landowner responsible to arrange repairs to stop rocks continuing to tumble onto the road.

“Both the wall and the drystone dyke on the opposite side of the road are very perilous,” she said.

“It just needs vibrations from heavy timber lorries passing and the whole thing will come down.

“I don’t want anyone to suffer death because of it.

“Immediately, I reported it, and I have been calling the council and the police off and on since then, yet here we are in October 2017 and still nothing has been done.”

“It’s disgraceful to think that the wall remains in this condition so close to the road.”

Mrs Birse now plans to give up driving next spring after her insurance costs rocketed from £125 to £890 a year following the crash.

However she added: “My main concern is the safety aspect. I hope by highlighting this that it spurs the council on to slap an order on the owners of the place and see that they fix the wall.”

A council spokesman said: “The walls do not belong to Scottish Borders Council but a local landowner.

“The road at this location has been subject to accident investigation and prevention works previously, and warning signs were added.”

“It is proposed to replace the damaged verge marker post this financial year.”