Scottish Borders Council bosses could end up with blood on their hands if a controversial proposal to remove double yellow lines along a Hawick road gets the green light, angry residents have warned.
People living in Liddesdale Road were enraged when it emerged that it is being proposed by council officers that the surface signage be burned off in a bid to slow down speeding motorists as part of a package of traffic-calming measures on roads approaching Stonefield Place.
Though supportive of making that part of town safer for the many children living there, locals feel such a move would add to, rather than remove, the problem of speeding traffic.
They are also unhappy at what they say is a lack of consultation over the move and have called on the local authority to make an immediate U-turn.
In the meanwhile, residents have revved into action and launched an online petition against the proposal.
It has already attracted almost 100 signatures, with many others signing a paper version.
The council has now pledged to consult locals over future action and is considering suggestions that electronic flashing speed signs to highlight the 30mph limit in force along the street could be a better and safer way to deter speeding drivers.
One of the protesters, mother-of-two Claire Douglas-Hogg, 39, of Rockvale Cottages in Liddesdale Road, said: “If anyone is injured or killed due to the removal of double yellow lines, we will hold Scottish Borders Council liable.
“We should have been consulted before this proposal got as far as it has.
“The community is totally against this. There is not a single resident who can see the logic in proposals which pose a serious risk to young children when crossing the road and risk not being seen from the pavement.
“With the present lines in place, there is good visibility of the road and good visibility of the pavement and drivers.
“It would cause problems for mums with prams seeking to cross the road, as well as creating problems for people with disabilities also resident in the area.
“There is a problem with motorists just putting their foot down when driving along Liddesdale Road, but this proposal is not the way to deal with it.
“The electronic flashing speed signs would be a better and safer deterrent.”
Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson agrees with the protesters.
He said: “Removing the double yellow lines is nothing more than absolute nonsense.
“They are there for a reason, and taking them away would only increase the possibility that children would get killed by running out on the road between parked cars, and I don’t want blood on my hands.
“The problem is that if you take away the parking restrictions, then employees from the knitwear factory on that road would park there.
“It would not slow cars down, but it would turn the road into a gridlock when deliveries are made to the factory.
“I’ll admit something has to be done, but this should not be an option.
“I would much rather see chicanes put in or something like that.”
A spokesperson for the council said the prospect of removing the double yellow lines is still an option but pledged to launch a consultation, adding: “Residents have raised some concerns with the general idea of removing double yellow lines without seeing the proposals.
“Staff will be carrying out some community engagement on the plans.”