Council in talks on danger path

SCOTTISH Borders Council is in early talks to extend a path between Galashiels and Clovenfords in order to safeguard walkers.

However, there are no plans at present to construct a footway along the dangerous bend of the A72 road when approaching from Galashiels, which has previously witnessed accidents.

Currently, members of the public have to walk along the grass verge to reach the village, with the path running out hundreds of metres short of Clovenfords.

Councillor and Clovenfords resident Gavin Logan brought up the subject at last week’s SBC meeting – and executive member for works and infrastructure Jim Fullarton confirmed the local authority was in negotiations with the landowner.

Mr Fullarton said: “The local member will be aware that when the shared access route between Galashiels and Clovenfords was constructed, it was stopped short of the village because there was a live planning application for a housing development at the Station Yard site.

“This proposal achieved full planning permission and as part of this application, the council negotiated the development of a new roadside footway, which would link the village to the newly-constructed path.

“The housing developer eventually decided not to take this application forward. I believe that the site has recently been sold to another party. The council has no immediate plans to construct a new footway at this site.

“However, I can advise that the completion of this link remains an aspiration for the council and officers have held initial discussions with the new landowner of the Station Yard site regarding the possibility of developing a footway link at this location in the future.”

Speaking before the meeting, Mr Logan said: “This issue has been a major concern in Clovenfords since the path from Gala to Clovenfords was completed five years ago.

“Walkers, cyclists and mothers with prams have to negotiate this dangerous stretch if they want to use the new path/cycleway. It seems a waste because people are not using this facility because of the dangers.

“I think that the council will have to take the bull by the horns and try and remedy this unacceptable situation.”

In May 2009, TheSouthern reported on a couple who miraculously escaped injury when their van careered off the road on the bend concerned.

Councillor Logan said then: “Anyone on the path at the time would have been wiped out. It is truly frightening.”