The state of the lay-by at the Lamberton border crossing on the A1 has been described by one motorist as “shameful”.
Inverness resident Liz Devine and her husband were returning home from a holiday in France when they stopped at the Lamberton lay-by.
“My husband and I stopped in this lay by in our motorhome to cook up some breakfast en route home from holidaying in France. We were appalled at the state of the place,” said Liz.
“The bins were overflowing, litter was everywhere.....even toilet litter!
“The story board is hidden within overgrown vegetation and the area where the saltire flies is covered in weeds.
“The notion that this is a welcome to Scotland is shameful.
“We were ashamed and so incensed that I have sent hard copies of the photographs I took there to the First minister. I have also contacted the MP.
“Surely there has to be a solution to this awful place that would make it a welcoming place instead of a place where most cars (while we were there) just drove through without stopping.”
Confirming that he had indeed been contacted by Mrs Devine, Scottish Borders MP Callum Kerr said: “I was alarmed to hear from this lady that the lay-by at Lamberton had fallen into this state. As she rightly says, the entry into Scotland should be pleasant, attractive and welcoming. It forms the very first impression that visitors to our country have and we need to do everything we can to ensure it’s a positive one.
“I’m in contact with Scottish Borders Council to see if they can offer an explanation as to how this has occurred and will be urging a clean up as soon as possible.”
In 2005 a report to Scottish Government Ministers entitled ‘Review of First Impressions of Scotland: Report to Ministers’ said: “Cleanliness and maintenance at Scottish gateways was generally acceptable, but litterpick-up at road border crossings and on railway tracks needs to be improved.” Ten years on this still seems to be an issue at the border crossing from England to Scotland.
During the last week of July last year a national paper ran a story about overflowing litter bins in exactly the same spot and reported that Scottish Borders Council blamed English tourists visiting Scotland for the Commonwealth Games and other big summer events. The council did, however, promise to review its refuse collection service at the border.
So what has gone wrong this time?
A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “The A1 Lamberton layby is the responsibility of both the council and trunk road operator Amey. The council is responsible for clearing litter and Amey has responsibility for grounds maintenance and any hard landscaping.
“An inspection of the layby on Tuesday found no litter present but we acknowledge there has been a problem in previous weeks. We are currently looking at how we can increase the capacity of litter bins using the resources we have.”
There has been no response from Amey.