Trunk roads authorities welcomed the strong engagement from the people of Selkirk in a public consultation at the end of 2023 on the perceptions of using the A7 in the town on foot or on wheels.
Transport Scotland and its operating company, BEAR Scotland received responses from 131 people making 244 contributions in a six-week period spanning November into early December. The public consultation kicked off with a public meeting on 1 November that encouraged the public to provide insight on their experiences via an online survey which included an interactive map.
The consultation was an important first step in identifying and designing potential pedestrian improvements to enhance safety and encourage more sustainable journeys in the town.
Following detailed analysis of the contributions, three locations within Selkirk were identified by respondents as a particular priority for improving pedestrian facilities:
Issues highlighted were narrow footways, difficulty crossing the A7 in the town centre and concerns regarding road layout.
Tommy Deans, Network Manager at BEAR Scotland said: “To make sure our team concentrate on progressing improvements that genuinely benefit pedestrians, it is very important for Transport Scotland to gain a clear understanding of the lived experiences of those using the route on a day-to-day basis. The feedback coincided with initial investigations by road safety engineers and supports the development of potential interventions.
“Next steps are now being programmed with an in-depth analysis of the hot spot areas highlighted by locals. This comprises detailed surveys on traffic flow data, pedestrian and traffic movement data and underground utility equipment mapping. We are monitoring the transport arrangements for Pines Burn windfarm to ensure that days affected by turbine and blade movements are not included in our survey data.”
This will provide valuable information to inform the feasibility and the design of potential solutions.
Scottish Borders Council officials are being kept informed as to the progress of this project to ensure that potential solutions take the local road network into account.
Deans adds: “We would like to thank everyone who has contributed towards this consultation. Their feedback will continue to be invaluable to helping us make these vital improvements. Whilst there are a number of existing constraints on the A7 corridor through Selkirk which can make improvements more challenging to deliver, any changes will be carefully assessed for benefits in relation to the impact on traffic using the A7 and other key routes in Selkirk.”
For updates on this project, please subscribe to the Walk A7 Selkirk project page Have Your Say Today – Walk A7 Selkirk – Commonplace.