Jedburgh: Action plan to tackle ‘unsuitable’ road traffic system

A plan of ACTION has been drawn up to tackle an ‘unsuitable’ road traffic system in the heart of a border town center amid serious concerns from townspeople.

In 2015, temporary traffic management measures were introduced in Jedburgh in the interest of public safety, including a one-way system, when the masonry of the ‘Corner Building’ at 12 Market Place and 2 High Street began to fall on the street below.

This building, surrounded by scaffolding, is now destined for demolition and the “temporary” traffic measure remains in place.

Two petitions have been submitted to the Scottish Borders Council by local residents and by the Jedburgh Community Council, with the support of businesses in the town, calling for the restoration of access to Exchange Street from the Market Square.

This led the council to commission an independent traffic report which concluded that the current arrangements are ‘inadequate’ and goes on to set out a number of recommendations to address the issues, including pedestrian pavements – but excluding the abandonment of the current – track system.

For a number of years Exchange Street had a ‘No Entry’ sign which stops incoming traffic from Market Place.

This has resulted in additional traffic on The Friars, with residents who live there having to walk the road to turn at the car park adjacent to Willow Court to access their own driveways.

There have also been incidents of drivers ignoring the no trespassing sign and causing accident risks when driving up Exchange Street from Market Place.

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The residents’ petition read: ‘We need this situation resolved immediately, so that traffic can enter Exchange Street from Market Pace safely.

“This can be achieved through the use of traffic lights, a priority ‘give way’ system or another solution to manage traffic appropriately.

“This will benefit drivers who need to use Exchange Street and Lanton Road, reduce traffic on The Friars and allow residents to access their properties more easily than in previous years.”

In response, Ayr-based road safety consultants Wyllie Lodge carried out an independent review of temporary traffic measures in the town centre.

A series of recommendations were made to address the issues, including pedestrian drop curbs on both sides of Exchange Street and Market Place; removal of the remains of the zebra crossing on the main street; a new controlled pedestrian crossing at No. 11 and the use of more sustainable street furniture.

However, the report recommended maintaining the one-way system. He said: “The protracted nature of the works expands the definition of temporary traffic management. The corner building still needs to be demolished and possibly a new building erected. Traffic management adjustments will be necessary for a few more years.

“Current arrangements for pedestrians and diversions around scaffolding are inadequate. The scaffolding on Exchange Street only leaves enough carriageway width for one lane of traffic and is currently managed by one-way traffic flow. The reintroduction of a two-way flow of traffic managed by either temporary traffic lights or a priority cession system would be less inconvenient for drivers accessing Burns Wynd, Lanton Road and The Friars, but it would create significant congestion at Market Place and be detrimental to road safety for all road users at Market Place, Cannongate and High Street junction.

Members of the board’s audit and review committee will consider the recommendations during their meeting via video link on Thursday.

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