Council goes against public opinion to make Melrose street one-way

Following a public consultation, Scottish Borders Council is implementing a temporary one-way system on Chiefswood Road in Melrose from next week, despite most respondents being against the idea.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 11:08 am
Chiefswood Road in Melrose.

The council says the trial is to obtain usage data to support a possible funding bid for a new dedicated, off-road pathway to run alongside the road, which runs from Darnick, past Borders General Hospital, to Dingleton Road, opposite the town’s golf club.

Borderers were initially asked to give their feedback on plans to temporarily introduce a one-way system on Chiefswood Road to allow for a shared space for pedestrians and cyclists.

Of Melrose residents who took part in the survey, 114 (28%) said they would like a trial, while 173 (42%) wouldn’t. And of those outside the town, 19 (5%) were for it, while 72 (17%) were not.

However 47% of the 411 respondents said they would use the shared space if it were installed.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, executive member for infrastructure, travel and transport, said: “After carefully considering the consultation feedback, the council intends to explore more options including the possibility of constructing an off-road multi-use path running alongside Chiefswood Road.

“The temporary trial of a one-way system on Chiefswood Road will go ahead as planned until September 30 in order to further measure demand and collect data that can be used to support a funding bid for a permanent off-road footway.

“I must stress that this trial will be temporary, and that no permanent decisions have been made.

"By working closely with our partners Sustrans, we will be able to properly evaluate the effectiveness of this trial and use the data we collect to fully inform more permanent decisions in the future.”

The trial will see vehicle access permitted downhill only towards Borders General Hospital and a 30mph speed limit introduced. Temporary bollards will be installed for safety reasons to separate vehicles from the dedicated walking and cycling lane.

A two-way flow of traffic would be maintained between Fairways and Dingleton Hill and also from the Harleyburn House access to the junction with High Cross Avenue.

A full breakdown of the responses to the Chiefswood Road consultation can be found online at https://scotborders.citizenspace.com/assets-and-infrastructure/chiefswood-road-questionnaire/