Teviot’s change of course near Hawick raises fears over A7

Councillor Davie Paterson on the Branxholm straight going towards Carlisle.
Councillor Davie Paterson on the Branxholm straight going towards Carlisle.

The organisation responsible for maintaining the region’s trunk roads network denies responsibility for changing the course of the River Teviot beside the A7 Edinburgh-Carlisle road near Hawick.

Oxfordshire-based infrastructure support service contractor Amey carried out work to reinforce an embankment which had been washed away on the Branxholm straight south west of the town about two years ago.

It’s claimed that ever since that work was carried out, the course of the river has changed, with waters bouncing off the newly-created wall and “eating away” parts of the nearby field.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson has raised his concern with Amey that the road could be undermined as a result, potentially forcing it to be closed at some point in the future.

However, a spokesperson for Amey ruled out any connection between the work and a change in the course of the river, suggesting instead that it could be the result of erosion of the river’s banks upstream.

The company has pledged to continue to investigate the issue.

Despite that reassurance, Mr Paterson remains unconvinced, saying: “I have been assured by constituents that this is certainly not the case and that, since this work was done, it has definitely changed the course of the river.

“When the river is in spate, it bounces off the newly-created wall and hits the other side of the banking.

“It seems to be eating away at the banking next to the A7 on the Branxholm straight.

“There is a real danger that the road could be undermined. If for any reason this road had to be closed, it would cause major disruption.”

The Amey spokesperson added: “Amey has been in contact with Mr Paterson regarding this issue.

“We have investigated this matter, and there is no correlation between work undertaken on the A7 and a change of direction in the river.

“The works did not change the alignment of the river but did reinforce the existing embankment that had been washed away.

“It appears that the issue may be caused by erosion of the riverbank at a point upstream, some distance from the A7.

“We are continuing to investigate and will provide updates to local councillors and the community as soon as possible.”