Rural speed limit rejected

PLANS to introduce a 50mph limit along the entire 20 miles of the road between Selkirk and the Dumfriesshire border, via St Mary’s Loch, look set to be scrapped.

In a recent consultation run by Scottish Borders Council (SBC), 53 per cent of those who responded rejected the proposal, with just 37 per cent in favour.

There was a similar if less emphatic thumbs down for the same restriction to be introduced on the 16-mile stretch of the A6088 from Hawick to Carter Bar, with 50 per cent dissenting and, again, 37 per cent agreeing.

The two routes had been selected after a review of all SBC’s A and B roads, following an instruction from the then Scottish Executive in 2006 to consider speed restrictions on roads with high accident rates.

Commenting on the questionnaire results, Selkirkshire councillor Vicky Davidson said Ettrick and Yarrow community council and most locals felt the proposed limit was unneccessary and unenforcible on a busy tourist route.

Her colleague, Councillor Kenneth Gunn, said he had always opposed the A708 restriction, not least because of the costly and unslightly repeater signs which would have to be erected, although he remains convinced 30mph limits should be imposed at key settlements along the way, including Yarrowford, Yarrowfeus, Cappercleuch and at Tibbie Shiels.

Brian Young, SBC’s network manager confirmed: “The majority of those who replied were not in favour of a blanket 50mph restriction for the length of the routes involved and these findings will be discussed at the multi-partner road safety working group.

“At this stage, however, no formal decision has been made on whether or not to proceed with the statutory process that would be required to introduce a 50mph limit on either or both these routes.”