Increased speed fears

Main road in Walkerburn. Plans to paint double yellow lines.
Main road in Walkerburn. Plans to paint double yellow lines.

A scheme to stop parking on a stretch of the A72 through Walkerburn has been agreed, despite concerns that it could increase the speed of traffic.

The restriction on parking on a section of Peebles Road on the hill at the western end of the village was agreed by Tweeddale Area Forum last week.

Three options had been put before the forum, all seeking to stop parking to help create a safer entrance and exit for residents using a shared driveway opposite the homes on Peebles Road.

However, the council’s assistant road engineer Robbie Yates warned in his report that the implementation of any of the schemes could result in the increased speed of through traffic and that parking could be ‘displaced to more inappropriate locations’.

These concerns were echoed by residents who responded to the council’s consultation on the proposals.

One stated: “There is concern about the speed of traffic approaching the corner, and progressing through Walkerburn. I would suggest that the absence of parked cars will only aggravate the problem.

“At present the parked cars act as a brake to traffic travelling in both directions.”

They also added: “I understand that two residents have complained that egress from their property is hampered by cars parking between 25 and 26 Peebles Road.

“This does not occur often and can be remedied by considerate neighbours as opposed to the imposition of yellow lines.”

Another resident responded: “It appears that in the absence of any other suggested arrangements for residents’ parking, that the council appears unconcerned about the outcome of this proposal.

“One solution to this question would be for residents to park on the north side of the road, an arrangement which, not only exacerbating the problem, would be quite unsightly.”

However, Mr Yates also pointed out in his report: “A risk of not proceeding with the proposal is that on-street parking will continue to obstruct the free flow of traffic round this narrow section of the A72, causing delays and conflict.”

The forum agreed that an option to create a ‘no waiting and loading/unloading’ restriction between the edges of house numbers 21 and 31 was appropriate.

The length of the restriction was initially suggested by the community council, who, when asked about the idea in principle by Scottish Borders Council, stated: “If we are going to have a restriction then it should be used to improve all-round road safety at this dangerous corner, not just allow three households safer exits onto the A72.”