HEAVY rain and high winds disrupted travel last Saturday and caused a scare at the site of a previous landslip on the A7 just south of Langholm.
Motorists were, for a short period, told that the road was closed and to take another route but the road reopened with lights controlling the traffic.
Amey, the company which maintains the trunk road for Transport Scotland, were on the scene at lunchtime and the police attended to control the traffic until the lights were put up.
An Amey spokesperson said: “During the bad weather a small amount of debris from the banking of the A7 south of Langholm ended up on the carriageway.
“Temporary traffic lights have been put in place to allow for ditching works and road crossing repairs, which started this week.
“The road will then be cleaned and reopened next week and the lights removed. However, please be aware all works are weather dependent.
“Further updates will be issued in due course. We thank road users for their patience and understanding while this essential work is carried out.”
Motorists reported seeing an area at the site which had been dug up. This is a precautionary measure, providing a sump, should there be any water or debris at risk of flowing down to the road.
Denis Male, a member of the A7 Action Group, contacted Oliver Mundell, Dumfriesshire MSP about the continuing problem on the road.
He reminded Mr Mundell, chairman, that after the previous group meeting, he wrote to the transport minister about landslip.
Denis said nothing had been done by Amey and it was as bad as ever.
Denis said: “This bank is now dangerous and we need urgent action.
“Could you please chase the minister to get something done before there is a serious injury or worse.”
Mr Mundell has called on road operator Amey and
Transport Scotland to detail an action plan to protect the A7 trunk road south of Skippers Bridge.
He said: “Clearly, there was extremely heavy rain at the weekend but two incidents on this stretch in six months should set alarm bells ringing.
“There may be challenging issues at this location but I’m seeking assurances that urgent steps are being taken to reduce the risk of a further repeat of these incidents.
“The A7 is clearly an important national route and, when it is closed, there is also potential for significant delays for emergency services responding to 999 calls because they navigate unsuitable a lengthy alternative route.”
Mr Mundell, an A7 Action Group member, added: “There must be a risk of road users being in danger at times and it is vital steps are taken to mitigate against further slippages from the sloping higher ground above.”
Borders Buses, which runs the X95 between Carlisle and Edinburgh diverted its services.
From Hawick it travelled to Bonchester Bridge and on to Newcastleton and Canonbie
before heading into Carlisle.
At 7am on Saturday Dumfries and Galloway Police reported that a yellow weather warning for wind and rain was in force in the area until 6pm.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency issued a local flood warning in Langholm as the river rose after rain continued all day.
There was flooding of low-lying agricultural land and minor roads, along with difficult driving conditions, some road closures and other travel impacts.
Rainfall was forecast to ease during the day.