Fears voiced that planned link road could put pupils in danger

Broomlands Primary School.
Broomlands Primary School.

A new link road near a primary school in Kelso will not become a so-called rat run, promises the developer lined up to build it.

Concerns have been raised that a proposed section of road linking North and East Broomlands would increase the volume of traffic past Broomlands Primary School, posing a danger to pupils.

Kelso builder M&J Ballantyne has applied to create a circular loop linking the developments off the B6461 Ednam Road via Farrier Court and Broomlands.

However, residents fear the route will be used as a though-road, significantly increasing traffic on it.

So far, the scheme has sparked 27 formal objections, including ones from Kelso Community Council and Broomlands Residents’ Association.

Residents’ association chairman Thomas Crosbie said there had been several near misses at the junctions with Broomlands House, Broomlands Garden and Broomlands Court already.

“Any increase in traffic flow arising from the approval of the application would clearly increase the probability of accidents,” he said.

“Members consider the traffic conditions very hazardous, particularly to child pedestrians.”

Broomlands resident Claire Ballantyne said: “If the access strip between North and East Broomlands were to open, it would undoubtedly increase the volume of traffic travelling down through Broomlands estate towards the primary school, causing greater chaos than what is there already.”

Kelso councillors Tom Weatherston and Euan Robson said they had been concerned for months about traffic congestion around the school.

In a joint comment, they said: “If the access road is constructed, a greater length of carriageway where children are dropped or collected from vehicles will be exposed to more traffic than at present.

“It would seem to us to be unwise to increase the risk of accidents by adding vehicle movements in either direction at this location.”

The developer admitted it doesn’t want the road to be built but says it is “stuck between a rock and a hard place”.

Managing director Michael Ballantyne said: “I would like to make it 100% clear that M & J Ballantyne do not want this road and have been against it for over 10 years now.”

However, when applying to build 25 houses at North Broomlands he was told that Scottish Borders Council would not grant permission without a link road.

“I got summoned to a meeting with the council,” Mr Ballantyne explained. “They said they would not consider phase six unless a link road to Broomlands was shown.

“The council’s argument is they want a circular route so that emergency services could always get to someone, and for sustainability, so service vehicles like the post van and bin lorry wouldn’t have to turn.”

He added that the proposed stretch did not join the A698 Coldstream road and said it had been designed to be narrow so it would not be used as a through road.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “Any objections received regarding the link road will be given due consideration.”