Concerns voiced over hold-ups hitting Hawick flood works

Scottish Water is being urged to hurry up and complete a £1.2m flood defence scheme in Hawick to enable residents to get on with their lives.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 7th November 2016, 12:56 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:35 pm
Flood protection works under way at the end of Duke Street in Hawick.
Flood protection works under way at the end of Duke Street in Hawick.

Concerns have been raised that the current project in Mansfield Road and Duke Street is “taking an age”.

Repairs are being carried out to a public sewer damaged during the storms of December last year.

Work started on site on Monday, July 18, and was due for completion last month.

Councillor Stuart Marshall in Duke Street after the floods.

With that date now lapsed, a councillor for the town is calling for a speedy resolution to enable residents and businesses to get back to normality.

The water company, though, says the work is being carried out to the highest standard of care to address the “unprecedented damage” caused by last winter’s floods.

And a company spokesman thanked local residents for their patience and revealed that the majority of the project’s pipework was now in place.

But with no new date for completion, Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall, also chairman of Hawick Volunteer Flood Group, has urged the company to proceed as quickly as possible.

Councillor Stuart Marshall in Duke Street after the floods.

He said: “The major works at Mansfield seem to be taking an age to complete, but I am told that this is a very complex project.

“I think that all the residents and businesses in both the Mansfield and Duke Street areas of the town will be delighted when normality is finally restored.

“It took several months after the storms of December 5 for Scottish Water to redesign plans that will hopefully result in this catastrophe not happening again.

“The vast proportion of the town’s sewage system is being pumped overland until these works are complete. This is, in my mind, certainly far from ideal.”

Gloria Rolph, who lives just yards from the flood defence works in Duke Street, shares some of the same concerns.

Mrs Rolph, whose home narrowly escaped being flooded last December, said: “We all want it to be over with.

“My feeling from the start was that they started this scheme too late in the year.

“Why couldn’t they have started earlier? When we had the light nights and the weather was fine, the workers finished work at 4pm, but when it got darker, it went on for hours in the darkness. What was the sense in that?”

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: “Work is continuing at Duke Street following severe storms that caused unprecedented damage last winter.

“All work carried out has been done with the highest level of care, safety and consideration for customers and the impacts on the local community.

“The majority of the pipework is now in place, with the phase-three works concentrating on connecting either ends of the sewer on Duke Street and Mansfield Road.

“We thank customers for their patience as we restore local assets, and we will issue any relevant updates in due course.”