Jed residents want action over underpass kerb issue

Iris Hutcheon and Cll. Jim Brown at the Jedburgh underpass which is unusable for wheelchairs due to the steps.
Iris Hutcheon and Cll. Jim Brown at the Jedburgh underpass which is unusable for wheelchairs due to the steps.
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Disabled people and the less mobile are being discriminated against by a decision not to allow dropped kerbs at an underpass in Jedburgh.

So says Iris Hutcheon, from the town’s Richmond Row, who handed over a petition bearing 63 signatures to Scottish Borders Council convener Graham Garvie and vice-convener Jim Brown.

The petition seeks to overturn a decision not to provide dropped kerbs on the A68 underpass at Canongate.

As well as women with prams and wheelchair users, there are five regular mobility scooter users who use the Auld Brig route linking the sheltered housing complex at Richmond Row with the local health centre and shops.

Ms Hutcheon says Millfield Old Folks Home would also benefit from dropped kerbs as residents would then have wheelchair access to the riverside walk. The official view, however, is that the incline leading to the underpass is too steep for dropped kerbs.

Mr Brown (Jedburgh and District, SNP) told us: “The alternative route at present means a very long detour and the problem is that less able senior citizens are simply driving off the pavement and over the A68.”

Ms Hutcheon claims disabled residents and others are “taking their lives in their hands” if forced to cross the A68.

“It’s ridiculous that able-bodied people can use the underpass, yet disabled, the elderly and others have to cross a busy trunk road.

“It’s definitely discrimination,” she added.