Kelso’s one-way system starts six-month trial

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A SIX-month trial of the controversial one-way traffic system in Kelso’s town centre will get under way at 8am on Sunday.

It has cost Scottish Borders Council (SBC) an estimated £130,000 to set up the experiement, for which new signage have been erected and Rose Lane widened.

“Initial preparatory works have been completed and once Horsemarket and, Woodmarket become one-way, the council will complete the remaining footway alterations,” an SBC spokesperson said.

That is a reference to the wide cobbled streets which run parallel to each other. Horsemarket will become one-way, westbound towards The Square, with Woodmarket one-way eastbound.

“The trial is part of the Kelso Town Centre traffic management project which is being promoted to simplify traffic movements and to provide improvements for pedestrians, shoppers and motorists,” said the spokesperson.

But the trial will have run its course before the town’s first major supermarket – Sainsbury’s – opens for business at Pinnaclehill.

Critics of the scheme, including Kelso Chamber of Trade, believe the results of the experiment will be academic without an assessment of the impact traffic generated by that development.

However a questionnaire issued during an exhibition on the proposals last summer indicated 77 per cent of Kelsonians were in favour of the trial.

Meanwhile, the council has apologised to townsfolk for any disruption during the experiment, which runs until September, and said that posters outlining bus stop changes will be put up throughout the town.

“SBC would be pleased to receive any feedback from members of the public during the trial,” added the spokesperson.

This can be done by calling Customer Services on 0300 100 1800 or be emailing techservs@scotborders.gov.uk