BEAR Scotland met with members of the Hawick community this week to discuss plans for improving Dovemount Roundabout, which acts as an important gateway to the town on the A7.
The trunk road operating company, which took on responsibility for trunk roads in South East Scotland in August 2020 in the midst of the first summer of the pandemic, outlined the landscaping scheme which is designed to visually reflect characteristics of Hawick itself while also being easier to maintain than the current roundabout.
The improvements are scheduled to be carried out in this financial year. Ideally it is hoped they can be undertaken before Christmas. In the meantime, the trunk road operator will undertake a tidy up of the existing roundabout.
The scheme was designed by the previous trunk road operator, Amey, but unfortunately had to be postponed when all non-essential works were put on hold due to the covid restrictions last year.
BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland met with Councillor Marshall and Marion Short, Vice Chair of Hawick Community Council.
Mark Turner, Design Manager BEAR Scotland said: “We are committed to collaborating and listening to representatives of the community. We appreciate that the initial plan for the Dovemount roundabout is one of many schemes that were impacted by the pandemic. As such, we are ensuring that the scheme is programmed for this financial year.”
Key to the design is to provide an attractive roundabout that is easy to maintain. The proposed design is inspired by Hawick itself and features different coloured stones including blue slate that seeks to reflect the bend in the nearby river Teviot. The plans also incorporate the option to install and illuminate a Christmas tree at the centre.
Councillor Marshall said: “The meeting earlier this week with senior officials from BEAR Scotland was certainly very productive and I was extremely impressed by their commitment to work with all elected members, community councillors and other stakeholders in order to address the longstanding issue of the Dovemount Roundabout. I think once plans are finalised this gateway to our town will look much more attractive both to townsfolk and visitors alike.
“I will continue to work with BEAR on this and other matters that come under their responsibility and we plan to meet again in mid-August to hopefully finalise things. I certainly left the meeting feeling very encouraged by their willingness to support our community with this and other ward issues that I took the opportunity to raise.”
Marion Short, Vice Chair Hawick Community Council, said: “I was very grateful to be afforded the opportunity to meet with representatives of BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland and resolve any issues we had with this long standing project which will vastly improve the aesthetic appearance on the roundabout for people travelling to the town, particularly from the north.
“I am delighted that BEAR Scotland has confirmed their willingness to carry out this work hopefully by December 2021 and I know that the community of Hawick and particularly the residents of neighbouring properties will really appreciate this intervention and no longer be faced with an overgrown and unsightly roundabout.”