Bridge crash means Yarrow disruption

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Users of a busy rural road face significant disturbance while repairs to an historic bridge are carried out in the wake of an accident.

The whinstone parapet of the listed Broadmeadows Bridge on the A708 route from Selkirk to Moffat near Yarrowford was badly damaged at around 6am on Friday after being struck by a van.

The driver and passenger are understood to have escaped with minor injuries and the vehicle, which came to rest perilously perched above the Yarrow Water, was safely removed.

The incident occurred just two weeks after Scottish Borders Council had completed masonry repairs following another road accident on the bridge which is on a right-angled bend.

A council spokesman told The Southern this week: “Temporary traffic lights have now been installed to restrict traffic to one-way and protective concrete barriers will be put in place to allow ongoing use by road users.”

The spokesman added: “The council will now arrange to carry out a full inspection and assessment of the upstream side of the bridge to determine the extent of the repairs that are required.”

But the council admitted: “However, an initial assessment has already confirmed that there will be significant disturbance while repairs take place.

“The council appreciates the importance of the A708 to the local community and will be considering alternative arrangements to maintain traffic flows on the road at this location.”

Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, who is Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for roads, confirmed that the owner of the van’s insurance would cover the cost of the repairs.

Councillor Edgar told us: “Like so many of our rural roads, the A708 follows old coach and horse routes, and it would cost a fortune for this council – which is responsible for around 1,200 bridges – to make them all safer.”

He added: “I firmly believe that it is dangerous drivers and not dangerous roads that are the problem.”

The A708 has been subjected to many delays and even closures in the past.

These have resulted from carriageway and bridge repairs being carried out.