parents will be hoping that council officials will still decide to grit a notoriously bad winter road at the head of the Valleys, after a review of the local authority’s Winter Service Plan.
There was concern recently after a decision to close Ettrick Primary meant children in both the Ettrick and Yarrow Valleys would be collected by the same school bus, which necessitates a trip over the Top Swire.
In a bad winter, this can be a challenge for drivers and, at this week’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s executive, Councillor Vicky Davidson (Selkirkshire, LD), argued the case for the Top Swire to be included on the list of gritting routes.
Councillors had agreed to an overhaul of the winter service plan, which included a reduction of £170,000 from cutting the percentage of road length treated as primary salting routes from 43 per cent to 37 per cent.
But the new scheme will still see all class A and B roads remaining on the priority list, while the number of community salt bins will be boosted by 50 to 920 in total.
Spending will also be increased on routes in the western area of council territory by £100,000, so that all primary salting routes will receive a pretreatment level of service.
And Councillor Gordon Edgar (Selkirkshire, Con), executive member for roads and infrastructure, told The Wee Paper there would be no compromise on safety, with a degree of flexibility built into the scheme to allow changes to be made if there were routes where problems arose.
“Council officers will have the flexibility to amend the scheme if the need arises,” he told us.
Councillor Davidson failed to get the Top Swire added to the official priority gritting list.
Mr Edgar explaining this was due to the fact that the stretch of road was not technically on a school route, as no children were collected anywhere along its length.
But he added: “However, the justification for it being gritted in bad weather would be because a school bus has to get across it and officers can make those kind of fine adjustments to the scheme if they think it necessary.”