Network Rail assure Clovenfords residents of A7 access during Bowland bridge works

THE road between Clovenfords and the A7 will be closed for around three months due to Borders Railway works, but residents have been assured that access to the A7 will be maintained at all times.

Stuart MacKay of main railway contractor BAM attended a meeting of Clovenfords and District Community Council this week to discuss ongoing works and, specifically, the closure of the B710 due to the replacement of the Bowland bridge.

A spokesman for Borders Railway told The Southern: “We cannot avoid a closure because we are going to be removing the old bridge structure and replacing it with a new one, but we are going to manage road diversions in that area.”

“We are looking to open up the route through at Ferniehurst before we close the B710, so there will always be one of these routes open,” the spokesman said.

“One way or another we will maintain a road open at all times, but we have no alternative to closure of the B710 while we do the works.”

He added: “We have got up to five months to deliver the work, but it will depend on how favourable the conditions will be. We will do it as quickly as we can.”

The work is expected to start in early April.

SBC ward councillor Stuart Bell, a resident of Clovenfords, said concerns had grown locally after a lack of communication following notice of the road closure was published, however, he added that residents were much relieved following the meeting.

“The reason the community council asked a representative of BAM to attend was to make sure that the commitment was there to finish Ferniehurst bridge before starting on the Bowland bridge, and there was a lot of relief at hearing that was the case.”

Mr Bell added: “Very clearly BAM recognises they are causing disruption and they will work hard to minimise it.”

Mr Bell said the diversion via Ferniehurst bridge was preferable to a long detour through Galashiels, especially following the closure of Plumtreehall Brae.