New row over Kelso traffic changes

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KELSO’s one-way traffic system is due to be made permanent next month, but there is set to be more controversy over a number of amendments which have been included without first being trialled as part of the scheme, writes Mark Entwistle.

Scottish Borders Council confirmed to TheSouthern this week that the report on the scheme will come before its executive on August 28, with the aim of making the traffic order permanent as soon after the meeting as possible.

Although the local authority said there would be no adjustments to the actual system itself, there will be a major change in that the taxi rank will be moved from the town square to the other side of the road in Horsemarket.

A session of the Kelso Community Council sub group tasked with monitoring the one-way project was held this week, at which the impending action was discussed.

Colin McGrath, pictured right, told TheSouthern he and his fellow community councillors were content to go with the scheme which has now been trialled since spring last year, but were opposed to switching the taxi rank to the Horsemarket and would be informing SBC of that position.

“There will also be opposition from the local taxi operators and other businesses to this to this as well,” Mr McGrath told us this week.

“Also, there is an amendment which will see the parking spaces outside the Bank of Scotland done away with and plans to create parking spaces in Roxburgh Street, opposite Haldane’s old premises.

“The main issue is that none of these amendments have been trialled, unlike the rest of the scheme.

“The people of Kelso should be made fully aware of these amendments to see what they think before any of them are made permanent.”

The order will make permanent the traffic system whereby Horsemarket is one-way, westbound towards The Square, with Woodmarket one-way eastbound.

The trial has been 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.