Red light for removal of A72 lane closure

A72  landslide.
A72 landslide.
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Traffic lights on the A72 at Nutwood, close to Dirtpot Corner, will remain in place until at least late August, the council has confirmed.

Since a landslip on April 18, a stretch of the eastbound lane of the road between Galashiels and Peebles has had to remain closed.

Scottish Borders Council has now confirmed that the traffic lights will remain in place until late August at the earliest, when it is hoped that work can be undertaken to ensure the stability of the slope adjacent to where the slip occurred.

However, the installation of rock netting, required on the slope directly affected by April’s landslip, has not yet been agreed between the council and landowner.

Until this work is also completed, the lane closure will remain.

A council spokesman said: “Rock netting works required as part of the recent landslip will be undertaken as soon as possible after the necessary discussions with the landowner (Forestry Commission Scotland) have been concluded.

“The remaining tree-felling works are to be undertaken by the landowner, which at present is scheduled for the latter part of August.

“Although it is possible that the rock netting and tree-felling works will overlap in terms of dates, this is dependant on the conclusion of ongoing discussions between the council’s legal section and the Forestry Commission.”

He added that a consultant said the exposed slope ‘cannot be left in its current state’ due to the likelihood of further landslides.

To allow the Forestry Commission to fell trees on the adjacent slope, the road will be closed from 10pm to 6am for one night, with the work completed with one lane closed.

This is scheduled for mid to late August, with exact dates still to be finalised.

Work on the slope, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, has had to be approved by Scottish Natural Heritage.