A1 weekend roadworks cancelled

There was five hours of gridlock in Coldingham after roadworks closed the A1 and traffic was diverted through the village.
There was five hours of gridlock in Coldingham after roadworks closed the A1 and traffic was diverted through the village.

Roadworks planned for the A1 in Berwickshire this coming weekend (August 18-19) have been cancelled after the same work caused chaos last weekend.

In response to complaints from residents and local politicians, Amey have now confirmed the planned roadworks for this weekend will no longer go ahead and they have been instructed by Transport Scotland to carry out a full audit of the roadworks to avoid similar issues in the future.

Last weekend, a full road closure of the A1 and a diversion via Coldingham had to be abandoned due to gridlock, with tailbacks lasting several hours at times.

Borders MP John Lamont contact Transport Scotland and Amey about the chaos and they have now replied.

In their response Transport Scotland said: “Between 9.30am on Saturday, August 11, until 6pm Sunday, August 12, a full road closure was planned at Grantshouse. As these works were required to be undertaken during the day due to noise levels from the surfacing operations, and the proximity of properties, a full road closure was determined to be the preferred option.

“However, at around 10.25 on the morning of Saturday, August 11, we became aware of a number of issues with the management of traffic at the pinch points through Coldingham and on the diversion route. This is considered to be due to volume of traffic and some drivers jumping the lights due to the delays encountered.

“As a result, Amey, immediately arranged for the surfacing operations to be put on hold and the A1 trunk road to be re-opened under convoy, at 11.45, to alleviate this traffic.

“The congestion in Coldingham was clear by 1.20pm and the A1 fully re-opened by 2.15pm. Due to the surfacing being planed out on Saturday it was necessary to reinstate the carriageway surface during the day on the Sunday so that the road could be fully re-opened to traffic.

“Amey avoided closing the road and directing traffic through Coldingham but as a result there were delays on the A1 during the day.

“Amey are now re-assessing how these works can be completed avoiding these issues.

“The other planned works this weekend have been cancelled.

“Following the issues experienced on the A1 trunk road over the weekend Transport Scotland have instructed our Performance Audit Group (PAG) to carry out a full audit of Amey’s planned scheme to determine where established processes have failed in this case so steps can be taken to avoid any similar issues in the future.”

John Lamont said: “I am pleased that the authorities have seen sense and at the last minute cancelled the planned roadworks which caused total chaos last weekend.

“Residents and businesses in the east Borders will be breathing a sigh of relief. I also welcome the fact that Amey will now look again at these planned works to hopefully come up with a better solution.

“But for me, this raises a wider point about how Transport Scotland doesn’t view the A1 as a vital route. Other major routes across Scotland would not be closed completely unless absolutely necessary and if they had to be, then an adequate diversion would have been put in place.

“This whole issue just reinforces my view that the Scottish Government need to commit to dualling the A1 north of the Border.”