Speed limit is needed, claim valley villagers

Yarrow Feus residents have criticised their local community council for not representing their views on a speed-limit proposal.

The issue arose after Ettrick and Yarrow Community Council objected to the implementation of a 40mph limit in the village, proposed by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and the police.

However, two residents have said villagers want the speed limit and are amazed at the community council’s stance.

Gillian Rotherham said: “We can’t understand why the community council objected.”

She added that there was a “desperate need” for a speed limit due to the proximity of 20 houses to the road.

Villager Lindsay Shouesmith added: “The vast majority of locals think the speed limit is a good idea, and it is something the school board have pressed for some time.

“Local people attending community council meetings have also pressed for it for years, since the road-speed review looked at a 50mph limit from Selkirk to Moffat.”

Both suspect community councillors have taken rejection of that scheme by local referendum several years ago as a reason to oppose a limit in Yarrow Feus.

They added that the community council did not canvas residents about the latest proposal.

The community council initially told SBC it welcomed speed calming in the village, but did not support the length of the restriction, instead suggesting it could cover the school to the village hall. They also said it would not be enforceable.

However, at a meeting of SBC’s Eildon area forum a community councillor said nobody wanted the limit at all.

Mr Shouesmith responded: “It is ridiculous to say it could not be enforced. You could say that about every speed limit in the country. It just depends on individual drivers, and the vast majority of motorists take notice of speed limits.”

He added: “What the community council said, in my opinion, is not representative of what local people think.”

Jan Watson, community council chairperson, said the council’s role was to gather the views and opinions of locals.

She added: “This was duly verbally done, as SBC had originally conducted a survey on the proposal for a 50mph speed limit on the A708.

“Both had an overwhelmingly negative response as such a restriction affects the majority of the community, other than those who have chosen to live beside the road.”

A 40mph limit will be put in place in the village for one year and then reviewed.

Mrs Watson said: “It seems quite academic that the views of the community are canvassed and then totally ignored.”