Hospital junction improvements making good progress

Published: Tuesday, 31st January 2017

The Leader of the Council, David Parker, and Chairman of NHS Borders, John Raine, have welcomed an update on works being considered to improve the junction at Borders General Hospital.

Early in 2015, the two wrote to the Transport Minister with the backing of a number of the region’s MPs and MSPs to express their concern about the ongoing accident record and difficulties experienced at the junction on the A6091.

Feasibility study

Transport Scotland, which is responsible for this section of road, commissioned Amey to carry out a feasibility study to determine whether there was a solution to help combat the difficulties being experienced by motorists at the junction. 

This week, Transport Scotland confirmed in a letter that its preferred approach would be to install traffic signals at the junction and reduce the speed limit on the A6091. 

At present, ongoing investigations are taking place to ensure that the signals will operate successfully and all the necessary changes to the junction and the A6091 can be accommodated. 

Consultation with stakeholders

It is anticipated that Transport Scotland will start consultation about the preferred design with stakeholders in February, with final agreement coming on the confirmed layout, and changes to be made, by the end of March. 

If agreed, works would likely be carried out during 2017/18. NHS Borders will also carry out improvements to the hospital entrance alongside ourselves with improvements to the road near the junction to support the new scheme.

Councillor David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council

“I am delighted that Transport Scotland has carried out such a comprehensive feasibility study looking at all available options to address concerns at the junction. 

“From the draft layouts I have seen, if all the investigations reach a positive conclusion a very significant scheme will be put in place that will hopefully prevent the accidents and many near misses that take place. 

“Although traffic signals are the preferred option, other solutions, such as a roundabout, were carefully considered but have all been deemed unworkable for very sound reasons. The scheme which is being developed would be a major investment in accident prevention.”

John Raine, Chairman of NHS Borders

“It is clear that the difficulties at the BGH junction have been taken seriously and the proposals which are emerging are a very welcome step forward in the right direction.

“It is an unwelcome irony that there is a perceived accident black spot outside the region’s main hospital, and NHS Borders have worked in partnership with the Council to try and find a permanent solution to the difficulties experienced at the BGH and I am very hopeful that the work is about to come to fruition. 

“Staff and visitors to the hospital have consistently raised concerns about the junction’s safety over many years and I am sure that m any people will welcome proposed improvements.”