In 2015 temporary traffic management measures were introduced in the interests of public safety, including a one-way system, when masonry from the ‘corner building’ at 12 Market Place and 2 High Street began falling to the street below.
That building, which has scaffolding around it, is now earmarked for demolition and the ‘temporary’ traffic measures remain in place.
Two petitions were submitted to Scottish Borders Council from local residents and from Jedburgh Community Council calling for the restoration of access to Exchange Street from the Market Place, with community council members also suggesting the use of the town’s Co-op car park as a turning point – to reduce the number of cars going into Market Place.
Those concerns led to the council commissioning an independent traffic report outlining recommendations to tackle the problems, including pedestrian drop kerbs on both sides of Exchange Street and Market Place and the removal of the remnants of the Zebra crossing on the High Street.
However, the report recommended that the current one-way system should remain in the interests of safety.
Today, Thursday, June 30, members of the council’s Audit and Scrutiny Committee decided to take no further action on the petitions and to endorse elements of the independent report’s recommendations.
At the meeting, Graham Hayward, for Jedburgh Community Council, said there had been a number of reports of pedestrians involved in “near-misses” with vehicles, adding: “Our point mainly was to reduce the amount of cars that are going through the Market Place and that’s why we focused on opening up the Co-op car park.”
David Greer, for the residents of The Friars, said: “There seems to be a general assumption that placing a ‘no entry’ sign at the bottom of Exchange Street means it’s safe, job done. Unfortunately this assumption is far from reality. It has been reported to me that every day around 30 vehicles ignore the no entry sign and as they are breaking the law they tend to drive through the junction at great speed.”
Mr Greer called for a priority give-way system at the junction of Market Place and Exchange Street.
Philppa Gilhooly, traffic and road management lead with Scottish Borders Council, said: “We absolutely do sympathise with the residents, businesses and visitors to Jedburgh who have been extremely inconvenienced because of the works associated with the ‘corner building’. Unfortunately we are in the position we are in for a number of reasons.
“We don’t agree that reopening Exchange Street to two-way is a safe option. If it was we would have done it. From a safety perspective we are content that what is one site is the safest option. I am sorry that some pedestrians are making their way around the scaffold as we can see they were doing that when the walkway was there as well. That’s a decision the pedestrians are making themselves”.
Using the Co-op as a turning point was also dismissed as not being safe in terms of road safety.
Committee chair Elaine Thornton-Nicol concluded: “With great respect to the petitioners, we understand the inconvenience, but for the moment, other than the request for additional works, the recommendation of this committee is that no further action is taken.”