Call goes out for action to stop pavement problems putting old folk in peril in Kelso

Buses and delivery vehicles are putting older pedestrians in peril by regularly mounting a stretch of pavement in Kelso town centre, it is claimed.

By Paul Kelly
Friday, 3rd April 2020, 9:31 am
Councillor Euan Robson in Kelso's Woodmarket.
Councillor Euan Robson in Kelso's Woodmarket.

That’s causing flagstones opposite the post office in Woodmarket, outside the old Border Hotel, to become uneven, and that’s already led to a handful of incidents involving old folk sustaining injuries after tripping up.

Kelso councillor Euan Robson accepts that’s not a pressing problem at the moment because the lockdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic spreading through the Borders is keeping people, and especially older ones, indoors and away from the town centre, but he believes it should be addressed as a matter of urgency once times return to anything like normal he believes addressing the issue should be made a priority.

In the meantime, he has issued a plea to bus drivers and other motorists to try not to mount the pavement there in a bid to avert further accidents.

He said: “This is an issue that has been raised with myself, with the provost of Kelso and at the community council.

“The problem is that the kerb and also the flagstones on the pavement are being made uneven and have become loose because vehicles are mounting the pavement and disturbing them.

“There have been at least three or four accidents where elderly people have tripped and hurt themselves.

“The irony of this is that about four or five years ago, all the flagstones were relaid and completely renewed and they were excellent.

“The problem is that the road there is narrow and long tour buses in particular seem to have to mount the pavement and the angle in which they turn into the bus bay can be very tight.

“The other thing is that people park in the loading bay behind the bus stop and it means the angle is made tight because the loading bay, which shouldn’t be occupied so much, is being blocked up with cars in it.”

Mr Robson is calling for the public’s support to address the issue.

He added: “There are three things that need to happen.

“The first is to ask people not to park in the loading bay.

“The second is to ask the community action team of the police, when things get back to normal, to police that area and stop it, if they can, and advise bus drivers not to mount the pavement.

“The third thing is that this area will have to be reviewed in the forthcoming new traffic regulation order, which is being done on a town-by-town basis, following the review of parking issues by the council last year.

“It has to be a priority because if we don’t do something, it’s going to get worse and the post office is a key facility, particularly for elderly folk picking up their pensions.

“It’s a long-term issue that will need to be addressed, but in the meantime I would appeal to any bus driver to try not to mount the pavement, if they can, and we’ll also need to address some of the delivery vehicles which mount the kerb when they could probably do a little better.”