Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

A1 Junctions in Berwickshire - Update

Presentation by Amey and Transport Scotland.



The Vice-Chairman welcomed George Henry, Road Safety Manager with Transport Scotland and Gordon Boyd from Amey who were present to give an update on the A1 Junctions Review.  Mr Henry provided some background to the Review, listing the Scottish Road Safety Casualty Reduction Targets for 2020, the Strategic Road Safety Plan which was currently under review, the Strategic Transport Projects Review and the National Transport Strategy as the main policy documents.  Mr Henry went on to explain that in terms of Road Safety Casualty figures, the targets for 2020 were to reduce the number of people killed by 40%, people seriously injured by 55%, young people over 16 years of age by 50%, children under the age of 16 by 65% and to maintain a 10% reduction in the slight casualty category.  The cost of road accidents in Scotland was estimated to cost over £1b per year.  The statistics were currently at an all-time low but it was recognised that there was still work to be done to reduce the figures even further.  Mr Henry went on to explain that although it was recognised that most accidents could be attributed to driver error, safer road design could also make a significant impact on reducing the accident rates and that optimum casualty reduction could best be achieved through partnership working with colleagues involved in education and enforcement.  The Strategic Road Safety Plan produced by Transport Scotland informed stakeholders in terms of how road safety was delivered and set out an Action Plan for delivery which included twenty seven action points.  Mr Henry advised that an A1 Action Group had been in operation for some time and comprised Elected Members from East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.  He went on to confirm that full dualling of the A1 would not go ahead at the current time but that a review of the junctions on this road had been carried out in March 2015.  This was then followed up by a report from Amey to the A1 Action Group on 30 June 2015 with all designs and proposals now finalised.


6.1       Members were advised that statistics showed a downward trend in the occurrence of road accidents during an economic recession with the figures increasing as the economy recovered and this had been demonstrated in the figures available across Europe. Of the seven junctions on to the A1 in Berwickshire, namely Ayton South, Ayton North, Chirnside, Grantshouse, Houndwood, Redhall Eyemouth and Reston, only two slight personal injury accidents had been recorded, one in 2012 at Redhall Eyemouth and the other at Ayton North in 2014.  Road Safety works continued at each of the junctions as detailed in the presentation, and also along the length of the A1 in terms of  white lining, road studs/cats eyes replacements, vegetation clearance, carriageway surfacing as part of planned maintenance and ongoing discussions with the Safety Camera Unit regarding enforcement strategy.  Mr Henry explained that in moving forward, annual accident assessments would be carried out on the trunk road network alongside planned monitoring to ascertain the effectiveness of any measures installed and work would continue with local communities on road safety matters.  A further presentation could be made available once the Strategy was finalised. 


6.2 There were a number of questions and concerns raised.  In response, Mr Henry explained that average speed cameras were not always useful and were not being considered for the A1 at the present time.  In the case of the A9, however, these cameras had been very successful in reducing speeds on the long, sweeping bends.  Further information from the A9 road users' surveys was available online.  With regard to the roundabout at Cockburnspath, it was highlighted that no effective warning signs were visible on the south to north approach and Members noted that Mr Henry would investigate this matter.  With reference to lighting at junctions, Mr Henry confirmed that it was necessary to have evidence of previous accidents or collisions before additional lighting would be considered and he agreed to look again at the junctions which were causing concern.  He went on to confirm that work was ongoing at the Lamberton junction in terms of the erection of bollards and white lining and that signage detailing the different alcohol limits in Scotland and England was being considered for strategic Border routes. The Vice-Chairman thanked Mr Henry and Mr Boyd for their presentation and commended the work that had been carried out on the A1.







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