Dangerous Melrose junction to be fixed after flooding claim denied

Frank Sharp who has concerns about the water flowing on the road from the Melrose Golf Course drainage problem.
Frank Sharp who has concerns about the water flowing on the road from the Melrose Golf Course drainage problem.

A BORDERS golf club claims it is not at fault for a flooded road which has been branded dangerous to drivers.

The junction between Chiefswood Road and Dingleton Road in Melrose is regularly under water, with nearby homeowner Frank Sharp saying the problem started when drainage work was carried out at the adjacent golf club.

But past captain Keith Robertson maintains the work was in a different area of the course. And the problem is now set to be fixed through remediation by the club and road improvements from Scottish Borders Council (SBC).

Mr Robertson, a Scotland rugby cap, believes the flooding is the result of the weather which made 2012 the second wettest on record.

He told TheSouthern: “It is nothing to do with any drainage work by the club, but purely down to the extreme wet weather we have had for the best part of two years.

“We have completed drainage work on the fifth hole, but that is a long way from the road junction. I can assure all local residents that no new drainage work has been done in the area.

“The water tables are so high that any heavy rainfall sees water run at a ferocious pace down the ninth fairway onto the green and bunkers. The water is pulling down two-inch stones and it is a concern for everyone, local residents and the golf club. We have never experienced this amount of rainfall.”

Mr Sharp met Melrose councillor and Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker in October to discuss the issue.

He fears a cold spell of weather could led to a serious accident at the junction.

He told us on Monday: “David Parker acknowledged the problem and the dangers it represents, particularly when the water spilling onto the road junction freezes.

“Although David Parker has assured me that his staff would deal with this matter, some two months on from when it was first raised nothing has been done and, indeed, the problem now goes from bad to worse.

“Unless something is done, and quickly, there will be an accident at this junction and already it is noticeable that vehicles travelling up Dingleton Road are having to drive on the offside carriageway to avoid the holes and ruts that have been caused by the constant flow of water on the road surface.

“Fortunately we have not had any major snowfalls or prolonged periods of below-freezing temperatures which would render this particular junction nothing better than a skating rink.

“Given that we recently had a very serious road accident in the centre of Melrose, I would have expected that SBC would be particularly mindful of avoiding another, especially when the real risk that this particular matter presents has been acknowledged at council leadership level.”

However, Mr Parker said he immediately informed council staff after his meeting with Mr Sharp.

An SBC spokesman added on Tuesday: “Officers from SBC’s engineering and infrastructure section met with representatives of Melrose GC in November 2012 and agreed remediation works to be carried out within the golf course which would prevent surface water flowing onto the public roadway.

“Melrose GC agreed to carry out this work before the end of 2012, however, the very wet ground condition prevented this from taking place. It is understood that this work has been rescheduled and has commenced this week.

“As part of it’s planned surface-treatment programme, SBC will also be carrying out permanent patching works to Dingleton Road between the golf course and the town centre. This work will be completed before the end of March.”

Mr Robertson added: “We welcome any local residents or members of the club with concerns about the course to contact the committee.”