Transport minister must act before A7 takes more lives

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How many more lives must be lost and people seriously injured before extra cash is sanctioned to allow improvements to the stretch of A7 north of Galashiels?

Research by one bereaved mother suggests one person has been killed each year, on average, during the last eight years, on the A7 north of Galashiels.

Isobel Hutchison, who lost her son, Stuart, aged just 22, in a smash just south of the Gilston junction in 2009, has now lent her support to a call from Borders councillor Sandy Aitchison.

He wants Scottish Government transport minister Keith Brown to approve investment in this de-trunked 20-mile section of the A7, which runs from Galashiels to the Midlothian border.

Mr Aitchison’s plea follows the recent accident south of Stow which left a 23-year-old woman with spinal injuries.

And, according to Stow Community Council chair Dianna Muir, the local community in her area is “desperate” for something to be done.

Yet recent enquiries to Mr Brown’s office seem to suggest that Mr Aitchison’s letter may have been lost.

Meanwhile, cash-strapped Scottish Borders Council bosses appear to be pinning their hopes on a reduction in traffic on the A7 after the reopening of the Borders railway.

This is unacceptable. The railway reopening is at best still two years away and, if Mrs Hutchison is right with her figures, it means at least two more motorists will die in accidents before the first train runs.

While it may be possible to put a price on some road improvements, it is impossible to calculate the devastating cost that such accidents will mean for two families.

Please, Mr Brown, act now for their sake.