Railway A7 speed call despite jobs boost

Sandy Aitchison 's book on Stow Parish Church (St. Mary of Wedale Church)
Sandy Aitchison 's book on Stow Parish Church (St. Mary of Wedale Church)

Contractors BAM Nuttall say they would support moves to introduce speed restrictions on the A7 while the Borders Railway is built.

Commuters have seen further traffic on the route north of Galashiels as the completion date of summer 2015 gets nearer.

And in the last two weeks four accidents have been reported within a quarter of a mile of the Fountainhall junction, including one involving a BAM Nuttall vehicle.

At a meeting in Stow Town Hall, one local said: “Something needs to be done to slow the traffic down or there is going to be something serious happen.

“After the works are finished it will be fine, but there is going to more frustration among drivers and it is going to get worse during the next two years.”

BAM project manager Stuart McKay said his company shared their concerns. He added: “BAM would fully support the community and we would like to see some speed restrictions.”

Jonathan Hepton of Scottish Borders Council told the meeting: “We have had discussions with BAM and Network Rail about this and will be regularly updating to ensure the road is as safe as possible.”

Mr McKay confirmed a major increase in work in the Gala Water valley in the next two months will lead to job opportunities.

Employee numbers will increase from 200 at present to between 400 and 450 this summer. Mr McKay added: “In total, there will be around 1,100 people working directly, and indirectly through sub-contractors, on the line.”

Local councillor Sandy Aitchison added: “With the end of the academic year coming up, it is encouraging that will be jobs available.”

Anyone wishing to apply can request an application form from the Borders Railway website.