A6088 junction at Chesters a tragedy waiting to happen, villagers tell Borders council

Philip Kerr at the Chesters crossroads.
Philip Kerr at the Chesters crossroads.

Southdean residents are making renewed calls to improve road safety through their village amid fears it’s only a matter of time before somebody is killed.

Villagers living in Chesters say better signage, road markings and traffic-calming measures are a must if further accidents are to be avoided.

That plea comes after a three-car crash at the village crossroads, where the A6088 Carter Bar-to-Hawick road meets two rural roads on a 90 degree bend, left one woman in hospital last month.

“The accident that has been waiting to happen has happened,” Philip Kerr, chairman of Southdean Community Council, told its meeting last week.

“We recognise there is a major problem and a risk to life, so we want to adopt the most extreme measures which we have seen elsewhere.”

Members plan to push Scottish Borders Council to consider a chevron-style structure similar to that introduced just across the Border on the A68 in Otterburn last year.

“We may as well push for the most extreme option of traffic-calming measures,” Mr Kerr, who also wants to see the white lines repainted at the junction, added.

Residents have been calling for people to stop speeding through the village and for improvements to the road markings at its main junction for years.

Last week, they criticised Scottish Borders Council for the lack of action.

Although the local authority did put speed-test equipment in place for one week last October, it coincided with roadworks on that exact stretch of the A6088, prompting fears the information gathered wasn’t be accurate.

“I am not convinced that the data gathered, once we have it back, will be accurate,” Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall said.

“The council has no responsibility for the data-monitoring boxes, but we wanted them kept longer because they coincided with roadworks.

“I would like to see them back because that was totally inadequate.”

He added: “No wonder people are losing patience. It’s taking too long.

“This area is so problematic now that flashing warning signs are really needed well in advance of that corner.

“I will be taking this up with officers as a matter of urgency and asking for a meeting with road officers.”

Community councillor Hugh Roberts added: “It’s not seen as an accident blackspot, but there’s been two there in one year.

“If someone was to sit there and watch, they would see at least one person per day driving straight across that junction.”

Last month, all roads through Chesters were blocked for around two hours after three cars collided at the junction.

One 34-year-old female driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries and she was later charged with careless driving.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in the Borders were called to the A6088, near the Chesters crossroads, around 9.15am on Friday, January 18, following a collision involving three cars.

“Recovery was arranged for the vehicles and a female driver, aged 34, was taken to the Borders General Hospital with minor injuries.

“The 34-year-old woman was issued with a fixed-penalty ticked in connection with careless driving.”