Forest Road resident’s anger at ‘closed road’ debacle

The cones were right across the entrance to Forest Road at the traffic lights on Ettrick Terrace this morning.
The cones were right across the entrance to Forest Road at the traffic lights on Ettrick Terrace this morning.

Much-needed resurfacing of the road in the Valley this week has left Forest Road residents fuming.
Scottish Borders Council had placed a road closure notice for the Valley in our sister paper the Southern Reporter last week and put up similar notices on lampposts.

However, as the works include the junction with the A7, it does affect the only entrance to Forest Road as well.

Residents of Forest Road were not informed of the closed road, though, leaving some stranded.

One resident, Douglas Anderson, posted on social media: “Scottish Borders Council strikes again.

“Forest Road closed to traffic for next three days.

“No notification or letters to residents. Worker said we might be let through cones if they weren’t tarring at that point, but no degree of certainty. Bloody typical.”

SBC Contracts, on behalf of the council, is carrying out the work.

A council spokesman told us: “Obviously, this affects Forest Road and Victoria Crescent due to the existing one-way system.

“We have erected a ‘road ahead closed’ sign at the junction of Forest Road and Victoria Crescent to discourage traffic from exiting onto the Valley during operations.

“For traffic wanting to enter Forest Road or Victoria Crescent, we have sentries advising vehicular traffic to access from the A7 (courthouse) side as this will have the least impact on the works.

“We have had advance signs erected for a week now giving notice of these works.

“Works are due to be completed on Friday. However, the forecast for the rest of the week may have an impact on this.”

But Douglas said that was not working.

He told the Wee Paper: “When you’re in a line of traffic at the traffic lights and there is a road shut off by cones, and the so-called sentries are in a van having a cuppa, how are you supposed to know that?

“My son had to go round the town, park in the Glebe and walk my grandson through Glebe Park to drop him off for us to childmind.

“I only found out about sentries after getting stuck in the traffic and complaining myself.”

The spokesperson said: “The works do run right to the A7 junction at the war memorial, hence the ‘road ahead closed’ sign, which obviously applies to those exiting Victoria Crescent and looking to access the A7, not the Valley.

“Access will be maintained to Forest Road and Victoria Crescent from the A7 as far as possible, but inevitably when the works are right at that junction then no access will be possible, but this will be for very short periods (10 -15min).”

But there were safety fears expressed as well.

Doug said: “It does not matter what they think was or was not needed.

“Residents were unaware of the closure or the use of sentries and people in the traffic lights, local or otherwise, can’t stop in the traffic to debate the point.

“Delivery vans and service engineers have been coming up the one-way Forest Road the wrong way [after seeing the closed road at the top] and an accident is more than likely.”