A new traffic light system to improve road traffic safety on the A6091 at the junction with Borders General Hospital became operational last week.
There is a temporary speed limit of 40mph until additional improvements are put in place, although these snagging works are not expected to cause any significant disruption.
This work should improve the safety of around 11,400 road users, who travel this route each day, and who make left or right turns at the junction. In addition, a new ‘hurry on’ system has been installed, which will improve the flow of traffic and allow a faster entry/exit for ambulances.
A total of 16 accidents have happened at the junction in 10 years from 2006 to 2015, most of them due to drivers misjudging the speed of other drivers on the approach to the junction.
The scheme has been delivered by Amey on behalf of Transport Scotland in co-ordination with Borders General Hospital, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish Borders Council, NHS Borders, Police Scotland, local elected members and bus operating companies.
There is still snagging works to complete which will be done in the coming weeks under daytime single lane closures, outwith peak times.
The site will continue to be monitored to ensure the new system is operating as planned.
Councillor David Parker, Scottish Borders Council convener and local councillor for Melrose and Leaderdale, said: “A lot of work has gone into this project by Amey and I am confident it will make the BGH junction considerably safer for drivers.
“We are pleased to have worked beside Amey, Transport Scotland, NHS Borders and the Scottish Ambulance Service to make this happen, and thank the Borders public for their patience and understanding during the works.
“We would ask motorists to take their time to get used to the new arrangements, which we believe will result in less accidents and near misses.”
John Raine, NHS Borders chairman, added: “On behalf of my board I want to say a big thank you to those who have delivered this road safety scheme working hard in often harsh weather conditions.
“This junction has been hazardous for too many years and the improvements will be welcomed by our staff and visitors to the hospital. These traffic controls will do much to put people’s minds at rest.”
Derek Williamson, road safety manager at Transport Scotland, said: “We welcome this project, which will assist with improving safety at one of the Scottish Borders busiest junctions. This scheme, which has been designed as part of Transport Scotland’s Strategic Road Safety Project, will contribute to the Scottish Government’s 2020 accident reduction targets.”