Pupils get safer route to school

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PUPILS will be able to walk to school more safely in future thanks to a brand new £76,000 path to be built in Duns.

News of the path was this week welcomed by Duns Community Council which has been pushing for a safer route to the high school since it was built three years ago.

“This is really good news,” said chair Andrew Mitchell. “It will take kids off the main road and give them a safe way to walk to school as well as allowing for further interpretation of the wetland that has been developing in that part of the town.”

Approval for the new path was given on Tuesday by Scottish Borders Council Executive after the council was given the chance to bid for additional funding made available by the Scottish Goverment.

The council successfully secured £56,000 from the Government and was able to match this to £20,000 from the Cycling, Walking and Safer Routes budget.

A route has already been mapped out and will link the public park in the east of the town to the longer term western expansion of the town including the existing primary school, the new high school and, in time, housing as defined in the Local Plan.

A proposed spur to Earl’s Meadow has been abandoned after concern voiced by residents at a meeting with representatives from the council last week.

They pointed out that an existing path already connected to the new path and said the proposed spur was unsafe as pupils would be at risk from cars using the garages in the area.

Mid Berwickshire Councillor Frances Renton who was at the meeting said: “The officers from the council that attended the meeeting listened to the residents and acted accordingly.

“This is going to be a good addition for pupils going to school although work may still be needed to put in low level solar lighting for pupils walking back and forward in winter time. I am sure the new path will be well used.”

Part of the pathway will be an elevated boardwalk and it will be accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. The boardwalk section will be elevated using a plastic pile to stop it rotting.