State of bins at the border is a ‘disgrace’

SBBN-24-07-14 Litter at the Border
SBBN-24-07-14 Litter at the Border

The amount of litter and overflowing bins on the A1 trunk road at the Scottish and English border in recent weeks has provoked complaints.

In a letter to the ‘Berwickshire News’, Irvine Inglis, from Reston, said: “The overflowing litter bins on the A1 trunk road are an even worse disgrace than usual this year.

“The ones near to the English border where the tourists get their first glimpse of ‘Bonny Scotland’ on the busy east coast tourist route are particularly disgraceful.

Mr Inglis continued: “It just hit me because it’s an important tourist route.

Fellow Reston resident Joyce McLean was moved to return to the site with her camera, to photograph the state of the border.

Her photographs show large and small wheelie bins overflowing with rubbish, some of it onto the road.

Christine Mutch of Eyemouth went further, documenting the state of the bins in photos throughout June and July, including those at the Catch-A-Penny layby outside Burnmouth.

She said: “Having already reported this a number of times and recently spoken to a manager from Rubbish and Recycling Services, I am disgusted that nothing we discussed has been acted upon and the situation is worsening by the day.”

She is concerned by the health risk of the rubbish, as well as the possible dangers to road users: “At Catch-a-Penny the southbound lay-by bin has no lid. Often over-flowing litter is blown over the road in tied carrier bags, of significant size to cause traffic to take avoiding measures.

“That is not safe at any time but particularly so given the close bends. The main East Coast rail line is only a few hundred metres to the east and litter can easily get blown onto the tracks.

“I have been reliably informed by the proprietor of the food van at the English Border that the Northumberland County Council bins are emptied at least twice weekly, though Scottish Borders Council only do so fortnightly. What a wonderful welcome to Scotland!”

She added that one photo showing an overflowing bin was particularly annoying, as the bin had been emptied less than an hour before.

“Anyone who passes the border knows it is the first stop many tourists and visitors will make in Scotland, attracted by the lovely flags and large ‘Welcome to Scotland’ sign.

“I wonder what memories they take away with them?”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “SBC will look into any reports of overflowing litter bins that it is responsible for and aim to resolve the issue as a matter of urgency. Members of the public can report issues with litter by phoning 0300 100 1800.” Meanwhile, a crew is litter picking at the Catch-a-Penny layby as well as the layby at the border.