Villagers “frightened for their lives” at ‘danger’ road junction

All villagers signed petition for road improvements v.1
Crailing Junction (SBC)Crailing Junction (SBC)
Crailing Junction (SBC)

An action plan has been drawn up to tackle road safety at a Borders junction after villagers said they were “frightened for their lives”.

Every resident in the village of Crailing, four miles east of Jedburgh, signed a petition presented to Scottish Borders Council calling for urgent measures to improve safety on the A698 Crailing Junction.

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Residents say the village is situated in the middle of a 3.5 mile stretch of ‘race-track’ with vehicles travelling at great speed from the Bonjedward junction adjoining the A68 to the Eckford junction on the A698.

The road is so dangerous that most residents no longer attempt to cross it.

That means they cannot access the bus stop on the other side of the road or go for walks.

The petition stated: “We are increasingly anxious and now frightened for our lives and those of our passengers when exiting and entering the village junction, due to lack of visibility and the sped of vehicles on the A698”.

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Villagers called on SBC and Police Scotland to address the concerns as a “matter of urgency before someone is injured or killed”.

When members of the council’s Scrutiny & Petitions Committee meet on Thursday, October 19, they will be informed that road improvement measures have now been drawn up in response.

Removal of overgrown foliage and trees to the Kelso (east) side of the junction has already taken place.

Additionally, it has been agreed to upgrade signage with a ‘Welcome to Crailing, please driver carefully’ sign, together with a pedestrian warning sign and another ordering traffic to ‘slow’.

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Members of the community have also agreed to discuss the foliage associated with the boundary hedge to the Jedburgh (west) side with local landowners and residents.

Philippa Gilhooly, SBC team leader in Traffic and Road Safety department, said: “I have spoken with our Asset team and informed them of the need to clear the visibility splay to the Kelso side of the junction as a priority and also informed them that unusually, SBC are the landowner of this strip of land and that going forward it should be added to our maintenance list.

“I’m assured they will task a squad in the coming weeks to make a start on cutting back vegetation and assess whether a specialist contractor will be required to carry out more substantial works”.