Upgrade for Gala centre

MOTORISTS face disruption in Galashiels as improvements continue in the town centre, writes Bob Burgess.

Market Street is to be resurfaced which means the road will be closed to vehicles between Stirling Street and Paton Street on January 22, 23 and 27 between 8am and 8pm.

A spokesman for Scottish Borders council commented: “The three days are required as Market Street is showing visible signs of the impact from the poor weather seen throughout 2012. We are taking the opportunity during scheduled improvements to undertake some major structural repairs to the majority of the road.”

Diversions will be in operation and during the closure dates car parks operated by the council in Stirling Street and Ladhope Vale will be free – but this does not include the car park controlled by the B&M store.

The council says that due to the depth of the excavations there will be no safe access for delivery vehicles to premises on Market Street on January 22.

Deliveries to commercial and private properties will be available on the other two dates but the council spokesman stressed: “There may be some delays to make sure that access can be provided safely for the vehicle driver, the contractor’s workers and the public.”

The council’s man in charge, Ewan Doyle, said: “We are extremely grateful for the public’s patience. We need to put these traffic management arrangements in place in the interest of safety for both the public and the workers.

“Our contractor will make all efforts to minimise the impact but the disruption is necessary to deliver long-term benefits to road users and the final aesthetic finish of the town centre.”

There will be no vehicle access from Market Street to Gala Lane, Channel Street, Green Street, Overhaugh Street or Paton Street, although pedestrians will still be able to access these areas.

Channel Street will be changed to a two- way road to allow taxis to enter from the High Street, through the Plaza, to access the existing taxi rank. Deliveries can access Park Street through the Plaza.

Overhaugh Street will be accessed from Bank Street, via Bank Close, for these three days – with the eastern end of Overhaugh Street, from Bank Close to Market Street, made two way to allow delivery access in this area.

Works to rationalise the traffic islands around Cornmill Square will also be carried out from January 21 to 25, which will require the closure of the south bound lane – Cornmill Square to Braw Lads’ Brae – for these days.

Access in the other direction will remain open and diversion signs will be put in place.

The council has confirmed that the emergency services have been made aware of the closures and diversions that will be in place during the works.

For more information contact communications@scotborders.gov.uk or call 01835 826632.