Rural road now a danger to drivers, council told

Jedburgh and district councillor Jim Brown on the C33 road near Brundeanlaws.
Jedburgh and district councillor Jim Brown on the C33 road near Brundeanlaws.

A Jedburgh councillor is calling for rural residents to get the same level of attention as those in other parts of the Borders when it comes to sorting out the region’s roads.

Jim Brown is calling for action on the single C33 road from the A68 near Edgerston, south of Jedburgh, to outlying villages including Oxnam and Howman.

That call comes now that its ongoing pothole problem has worsened to the point that Mr Brown believes the road is a danger to residents and businesses reliant on it.

He said: “I’ve had several complaints about the this over a period of time and reported them. However, there doesn’t seem to be any action taking place.

“After travelling two miles of this road, I found it impossible to steer my way around these massive potholes.

“The C33 has simply been allowed to deteriorate all winter.

“My heart goes out to the residents and businesses in the area who suffer danger to life and limb or severely damaging their suspension, wheels and tyres.”

He says timber lorries have contributed to the problem and is looking for the council to demand some form of compensation, as well as a commitment to bear the rural road’s repairs in mind when agreeing its budget.

“Up by Brundeanlaws, they have been taking timber out of the woods and the folk up there are jumping up and down,” he said. “I have asked our senior officer at the council to see if they could get some compensation from the forestry for that road.

“Forestry activities have not helped, but Scottish Borders Council has a duty to keep vehicle drivers and passengers safe.”

The C-class road is maintained by the council, and patching work was last carried out there around two years ago.

Mr Brown is concerned that the road will not be flagged up when the local authority sets about dealing with winter damage to the region’s roads.

“It’s actually a really busy link road, but because it’s a C-class road it will be seen a low priority,” he added.

“These folk deserve their share of the funding too.

“I really hope the new administration team intends to follow the lead of the previous team by making a special allocation in this year’s budget of over £2m to help combat decades of under investment to our roads network.”

And with that budget set to be agreed later this month, Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, the council’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, is equally hopeful that there will be some extra in the pot to work with.

“I am hoping I am going to get some extra money and I am wanting it so that we can deal with the likes of this and do permanent repairs rather than temporary ones.

“As for the forestry lorries, they should follow dedicated forestry routes, in which case there is nothing we can do.

“But what we can try to do is meet up with the forestry transport group as there is funding there that we can source.”

Joining Mr Brown in urging those residents affected by potholes to speak out, he added: “The more people report the potholes the more they will move up the priority list, so I would urge everyone that has a problem to report it and give a good description of it to the council’s services department and it will be attended to as soon as possible.

“We are trying to maintain the roads, but we do have limited resources.”