Menu
 
Home | News | Fears raised on spread of virus into Eskdale
 
News | 14th May 2020
 

Fears raised on spread of virus into Eskdale

UK government’s relaxation of restrictions causes confusion

 
A7 road BEAR Scotland
 
 

ESKDALE residents fear they are at risk of being infected with the coronavirus after the UK government relaxed restrictions on travel in England.

They are worried that visitors will come over the border on the A7, even though the lockdown continues in Scotland.

They say they are the most vulnerable to the virus being spread because they live so close to the border to Cumbria which has one of the highest infection rates in the country.

On the Langholm COVID-19 Support Group page on Facebook members questioned why the road sign at Gretna said “Dumfries and Galloway is closed to visitors”, while the sign on the A7 said “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”.

They believed the A7 sign should display a stronger message, like the one at Gretna, to prevent people from coming over the border for leisure activities.

Councillor Archie Dryburgh said he had contacted the council’s roads department about the electronic sign on the A7 at the border, which was part of Transport Scotland’s network.

The council spokesperson said: “I have contacted Amey Highways which maintains this road and they have forwarded the suggestion to Traffic Scotland which manages the signs for Transport Scotland.”

Councillor Ronnie Tait told the E&L Advertiser that the main reason for conflicting messages at Gretna and the A7 at Canonbie was that the A7 was managed by Transport Scotland for the Scottish government, while the road at Gretna was controlled by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

He added: “I know the council has talked to both Transport Scotland and the Scottish government to impose the same signage at Gretna on the A7 at Canonbie but the government has simply refused.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made it clear that the border must not be crossed by people coming from England for anything other than essential reasons.

Cross-border travel has caused confusion since the UK government relaxed restrictions on Monday asking people to Stay Alert but Scotland’s message remained the same, Stay at Home.

People living in Eskdale and Liddesdale, who work in Cumbria, voiced concern that, because people in England were told to return to work if they could, they could be forced to go back to their jobs, too.

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “The government Stay at Home direction for all residents is clear and we urge all our residents to adhere to that.”

|Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone confirmed their position, saying there was no intention to have roadblocks on the border.

The area’s MSPs have also been contacted by concerned constituents.

Joan McAlpine, SNP MSP for South Scotland, said: “Some people in Langholm have contacted me worried about tourists and day trippers coming over the border into their community.

“This is caused entirely by the confusion created by the UK government.

The message in Scotland remains “stay at home” and that applies to people coming across the border, too.

“The message “stay at home” whether on the roadside or on TV is not open to interpretation.

“Crossing the border to do essential work, help a vulnerable person or shop for essentials is allowed. Anything else is reckless, puts lives at risk and could be breaking the law in Scotland.”

Labour’s South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth warned the collapse in relations between the UK and Scottish governments would risk borders’ communities.

He said: “When we need all governments to work together, the mixed messages are bad news for borders’ communities.

“They need to ensure they consider the unique impact their decisions have on people living near the border.

“Relaxing the lockdown has huge implications for people living in Scotland but working in England.

“They are unsure when they are expected to return to work and if they have children, Borders and Dumfries and Galloway councils will come under pressure to add them to their list of key workers so they can access childcare.”

Oliver Mundell, Dumfriesshire MSP, Oliver Mundell said common sense prevailed among most residents on both sides of the border in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

He said: “It is not in the interests of the people of Dumfriesshire, Cumbria and beyond to have the border restricted or even closed for checks, as some nationalists suggested.

“The priority remains to control this virus and I’m disappointed some Scottish politicians and activists have tried to stir up tensions about the border.”

He added: “It is important that electronic signage on the border should be consistent and relevant at all times.”








 
 
Would you like to support us?

The Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser is our community owned local newspaper and even in today’s troubled times, we aim to bring you local news and articles in an impartial, responsible and factual way.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this free article but we need your support so we can keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent and keeps you up to date with what is happening in Eskdale and Liddesdale.

Every reader’s contribution, however big or small, is so valuable to us.
 
 
‘Owned by the Community...Published for the Community’
Do you have a story?

Please get in touch if you have a story or article you would like to see published.

Related Articles

Local MP and councillors react to MP Sir David Amess death

MPs and councillors will continue to engage with constituents

 

Organisations benefit from Recovery Fund

RECOVERY funding has been secured for six organisations in Langholm.…

 

Marathon adventure

Eskdalemuir man runs for special charity

 

Borderlands bid rejected

City of Culture not coming our way

 

Brexit given as reason for demise of LEADER

Langholm received around £260,000 in funding from the project

 

SURF award shortlist for Old Police Station

Langholm affordable accommodation project up for prestigious award

 

Walk on the wild side

THE Langholm Initiative will celebrate Community Land Week Scotland with…

 

Up for auction again

‘Standout’ property needs extensive repairs and renovation

 

Copshaw Holm on film

A SHORT film has been created showcasing the payoff from…

 

A Modelling career awaits Langholm teen

Sam Cook signs up with London agency and hits the…

 

Frustration over X95

UNHAPPY locals are calling on Borders Buses to increase the…

 

A stitch in time

400 years marked with wonderful tapestry

 

Over 50’s boosters and jabs for 12-15 year olds

D & G team are readying the plans to roll out the…

 

Local sorting office threatened with closure

Royal Mail property review leaves Langholm in limbo

 

Chilli festival coming to Langholm

Self-confessed chilli capital of Scotland to host first ever ChilliFest

 

Public consultation on flood proposals promised

Councillor says ‘Ditch the Drain’ campaigners are being heard

 

Resurfacing works to result in A7 road closures

A7 road BEAR Scotland

The A7 will be closed between Canonbie and Hawick between…

 

Call for unvaccinated to come forward for jabs

Covid passports to be introduced in Scotland for those aged…

 

Talk to the Tarras team

Drop in every Wednesday for a chat

 

Muckle Toon Media welcomes new chairman

An optimistic John Hammond picks up the reins of the…

 

Over 100 residents attend heated flood defence meeting

Calls for renewed consultation with both regional and community councils

 

Kat joins Tarras team

Kat Mayer takes up her role as project and education…

 

Recycling Centre on the cards for Langholm

92% want to have the opportunity to dispose of garden…

 

National labour crisis felt by local businesses

Shortage of 100,000 drivers impacts on deliveries across the UK

 

FTS management duo gain prestigious degree

TWO local dyers have become the first to graduate from…

 

Canonbie Surgery relocates for major building repairs

EMERGENCY building repairs will be undertaken at Canonbie Surgery following…

 

Scaffolding fixed but what happens next?

Council forced to carry out repairs before something dreadful happens

 

Memorial centenary

THE 100th anniversary of the Langholm war memorial in Buccleuch…

 

Cleaning at the Kirk

Great team effort is appreciated

 

The Passion Remains

ONCE again, a much-reduced version of Langholm Common Riding was…

 

School transfer news

Langholm Alliance to consult on use of former primary building

 

Langholm Town Centre Building in danger of collapse

Fears that falling scaffolding and masonry may kill or injure

 

Our dream jobs

Two new managers appointed at reserve

 

Town's revival starts to come to fruition

Langholm Alliance has contributed £15,000 to boost activities

 

Engineering a future

Academy pupils awarded Industrial Cadet certificates

 

Rachel hands over the reins to Danielle

E&L Advertiser’s new community editor takes up her new post

 

Full steam ahead for ambitious enterprise

Planners give green light to the conversion of former BFA…

 

Langholm People

OutPost Arts sets portrait challenge

 

Community purchase of school on Knife-edge

THE future of Langholm’s former primary school as a vital…

 

War Memorial improvements

LANGHOLM Social Club is pleased to announce that, after much…

 
 
requires mailchimp logins and wired up to a list
Join our mailing list
Keep up to date with all that’s going on at the E&L
This site uses cookies.
Configure
 
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.