Campaign for a new bridge in Hawick achieves its target - thanks to campaigning townsfolk

Campaigners are celebrating today after the green light was given for a new £2m footbridge in Hawick.

Councillor Clair Ramage with Ian Young and Derek Lunn.
Councillor Clair Ramage with Ian Young and Derek Lunn.

Members of the council’s executive committee yesterday rubber-stamped £3.7m in funding from Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, to improve travel links in conjunction with the Hawick Flood Protection scheme via a network of new four metres paths across the town.

But the majority of the funding will go towards the provision of a new river crossing between Weensland East and Mansfield Park.

The announcement is a vindication of the efforts made by the community to make the bridge a reality.

Town residents Ian Young and Derek Lunn, with the backing of Hawick councillor Clair Ramage, set up an online petition which garnered more than 1,800 signatures.

Their efforts were rewarded yesterday when it was announced that the bridge was to become a reality.

Councillor Ramage said: “We set up a stall at Morrisons and then put petitions into various factories, cafes and community groups. We were overwhelmed by the response and at a

recent count had almost 2,000 signatures in support of a bridge.

“Connecting the town at this area will make a big difference to the residents at Burnfoot and Weensland but also opens up that end of the town. It will also encourage tourism and will link with the Hornshole Greenway Project and the proposal of the 17 metre high bronze river sculpture. This is really exciting news for Hawick and I would like to thank Ian Young for heading up the drive to set up the petition.”

Mr Young added: “I was speaking to one of the Flood Protection Scheme bosses and she mentioned how they were they were going to ‘future proof’ the scheme for the provision of a footbridge, my thought was ‘why wait till then? let’s get it done now’. I set up the petition and asked Councillor Ramage and Derek Lunn to help, so many thanks to them for their input and help. I was aware that Clair had been talking to the community who highlighted the benefits a bridge at this spot would bring. The majority of signatories

mentioned this has been talked about for years so well done to the town.”