A £2m scheme to widen the A72 Galashiels-Hamilton road at a notorious accident blackspot should start this summer after Scottish Borders Council agreed to stump up the cash in its latest budget.
Works to improve Dirtpot Corner, near Cardrona, east of Peebles, have finally been given the go-ahead, with council bosses confirming that work will begin later this year.
A spokesperson said: “The widening scheme will remove difficulties with two vehicles passing each other at the corner and its approaches, while the road surface will also be improved.”
The council has promised that disruption at the site will be kept to a minimum, with much of the construction work able to be undertaken from the riverbank, reducing the need to close the road.
The spokesperson added: “It is currently anticipated that construction works will start in summer 2018.”
The £2m earmarked for the road safety works at Dirtpot Corner was included in the council budget for 2018-19 agreed on Tuesday.
The council has pledged to invest a further £22m in improving the region’s roads and bridges over the next three years, with a further £77m to follow in the seven years after that.
Tweeddale East councillor Stuart Bell, a member of the A72 Action Group set up to campaign for improvements to various stretches of the road, has welcomed the council’s commitment to improve Dirtpot Corner later this year.
He said: “Improving the road was something our last administration had also planned to do, and I have campaigned every year to make that part of the road safer.
“A feasibility study has been carried out in the past, and I think widening the road will improve traffic flow, make the road safer and reduce the number of vehicles crashing.
“At the moment, two buses or two large lorries can’t pass each other. It is not possible because the road is too narrow.”