Campaigners stepping up calls for speed bumps near Galashiels school

Campaigner Elspeth Johnston handing over her petition to Borders MP John Lamont last year.
Campaigner Elspeth Johnston handing over her petition to Borders MP John Lamont last year.

Residents of a Galashiels estate are stepping up their campaign to have speed bumps installed to slow down anti-social drivers by handing over a petition to council chiefs next week.

The petition’s organisers live along Langlee Drive, just off Melrose Road, and they say such measures are needed to curb speeding to protect children going to and from Langlee Primary School.

The petition will be discussed by councillors sitting on Scottish Borders Council’s audit and scrutiny committee next Thursday, April 18.

In a submission to the committee, lead petitioner Elspeth Johnston writes: “The residents of Langlee Drive and the surrounding area have put forward this petition.

“The main reason for this petition is to request for speed bumps to be implemented along the road of Langlee Drive in Galashiels.

“It is believed that these measures will help curtail speeding cars along this narrow residential area.

“It will also help mitigate the risk of young school children being involved in an accident as this road is the main road to Langlee Primary School.

“We believe that the only measures that will work are speed bumps as other measures are only a short-term fix to a long-term issue.

“We hope that bureaucratic money-saving will not come ahead of the safety of residents in the area. This petition is for not just the present residents and children but also the future generations that will live here.

“I would like it to be considered that money spent now can save lives in the future.”

Langlee Drive residents have contacted Scottish Borders Council numerous times over the last few years to highlight their concerns, and each time the council has responded by saying that speeds on the estate are already very low, there is no history of accidents and it compares “extremely well with other locations throughout the Scottish Borders and much further afield.”

One resident, Albert Cruickshank, contacted the council so much over a two-year period regarding the issue that officers said they would stop responding.

In a letter to Mr Cruickshank in March 2018, the council’s network manager, Brian Young, stated: “The level of correspondence from you on this issue has been an increasing concern for some time now and has caused a disproportionate amount of staff time to be spent in responding over that time.”

The Langlee Drive campaigners began their petition campaign in August of last year by handing to Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont a petition backed bymore than 300 signatories.

Mr Lamont forwarded the petition on to the council, but it took until January this year for Martin Joyce, the authority’s service director for assets and infrastructure, to respond by saying it must be formally presented to the audit and scrutiny committee.

Ahead of the meeting next week, the council’s traffic officers have compiled a presentation outlining the findings of their own observation studies.

Officers found that over a seven-day period, the average speed on the northern section of Langlee Drive was 18.5mph, below the advisory 20mph speed limit.

A second survey, directly outside Langlee Primary School, found the average speed was 12.5mph over a seven-day period, and over the same time period, just 0.2% of vehicles travelling on that section of the road were found to be speeding.