Menu
 
Home | News | Riverbank erosion puts A7 in danger
 
News | 19th November 2020
 

Riverbank erosion puts A7 in danger

Residents voice their fears as three metres of banking disappear

 
 
 

THE A7 is in danger of collapsing into the Ewes Water north of Langholm, says a couple living on the trunk road.

Howard and Kath Ashton-Smith, who live next to Highmill bridge, have watched the riverbank being washed away year after year.

They now fear that, unless something is done, the water will continue to scour the riverbank until it eats into the main route to the Borders.

While they live on the far side of the road, their septic tank is under the riverbank and has been exposed by the constant erosion. While it is safe at the moment, they are worried it may be washed away.

Already, part of the hedge on the roadside near their house has fallen down the banking and exposed the verge to erosion.

The couple has lived in the house for 12 years and Howard estimates that about three metres of banking has been washed away.

The land closest to the bridge has remained intact so Howard can see how much has been eroded further downstream.

Howard and Kath rent their property from Buccleuch which also owns the riverbank.

They initially wrote to Buccleuch’s office in Langholm six and a half years ago about their concerns but have heard nothing since.

They also contacted Amey in the summer but Amey was about to hand over the contract to BEAR Scotland so, after an inspection, forwarded its assessment to BEAR.

Amey’s correspondence to the Ashton-Smiths in August said: “We attended and took some photos of the issue you described.

“Our view, I’m afraid, is that, at the moment, there is no impact on the trunk road.

“Our network covers some 550 miles of highways in Scotland’s south east and there are issues such as this around the region.

“At the moment, the river is some six metres away from the hedge line which we would identify as being the trunk road boundary, with another three to four metres of verge prior to the road edge.

“From your point of view, you may wish to raise this issue with BEAR in the coming weeks because that will trigger more inspections of the issue via the weekly safety inspections.

“But we do not feel there is an immediate danger to road users which would otherwise warrant an immediate fix or attempt to make the area safe potentially by way of traffic management.”

The E&L Advertiser contacted BEAR Scotland which said: “We are aware of this issue but the eroded riverbank currently lies outwith the trunk road boundary, for which we’re responsible.

“We’ll discuss the required next steps with both the landowner and Transport Scotland.

“In the interim, we will continue to monitor this location and others nearby and take action as necessary to protect the trunk road.”

Denis Male, vice-chairman of the A7 Action Group, said he would inform Marjorie McCreadie, the group’s secretary, urgently and ask her to contact their two chairmen and the other vice-chairman to agree they get in touch with BEAR and the Scottish transport secretary.

He said: “This major issue affects not only the residents but also puts the A7 at risk. The main concern, however, has to be for the householders.”

Denis also said the problem at the Skippers Bridge lights had been raised several times.

He added: “The coping stones, which are loose on the former railway embankment wall, could seriously injure road users should they fall during a storm.”

Councillor Ronnie Tait said: “I reported these problems to Amey seven to eight months ago.

“I would assume they have pipelined this to BEAR which now manages the A7.”

John Galloway, chairman of Langholm, Ewes and Westerkirk community council, said he was not aware of the situation but had spoken to councillor Tait who did know and that it had been reported.

He said: “Ronnie is going to chase them again and hopefully there will be an update from him.”

A spokesperson for ScottishPower, which has poles along the riverbank, said they had received no reports of any unsafe poles but a team would go and have a look straight away.

There were also some BT poles in the vicinity.

She said: “The key thing is it’s crucial that people tell us about anything which could affect our network so we can take action at the earliest opportunity.”

 
 
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

‘Blame the Duke’, Loki tells Langholm

By Penny Johnstone Rapper wades into buyout debate in latest…

 

Tub Turnbull’s ‘Ride Oot Bye’

By Gilly Fraser For the first time in three years,…

 

‘My boy is broken-hearted’

Lennon, 12, left devastated after ‘despicable’ thieves target his beloved…

 

Institute raises a cuppa to 100 wonderful years

Retiring president Nancy McLure welcomed members and guests to the…

 

Showing Charolais

By Gilly Fraser “The Royal Highland Show is special for…

 

Drummer Kyle kills it with Brandon & Co

Sheer delight is etched on Kyle Grieve’s face as he…

 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

After torrent floods derelict church, residents unite in campaign to…

 

Leila's a vintage virtuoso!

If vintage clothes make you think of mothballs and third-hand…

 

New owners for town's 20-year Erskine eyesore

But clamour grows to tear down derelict, ‘dangerous’ High Street…

 

The blissful sound of silence

Residents celebrate after church bells are finally silenced

 

Let’s do it for Dylan!

As his mum appeals for a life-changing loo in Langholm,…

 

Pyrotechnics and parties for our marvellous monarch

Locals plan to hold a weekend of right royal celebrations

 

'I'm so glad my dad isn't here to see this'

Local opponents hit back at Tarras Valley plans

 

Ruairi to lead the way as Big Day returns at last

Langholm elects its new Cornet with 1,100 votes cast

 

Male is back as just 19 votes decide council seat

Ron Tait ousted in Ward 12 by returning independent candidate

 

Obituary to well loved lady

Tributes paid to much love

 

Last gasp lifeline for Tarras Valley project

Two month extension agreed for £450,000 needed to secure buyout

 

Butchers facing chop

Refurbishment row leads to couple’s decision to quit

 

Care village moves a step closer

£1.4m footbridge will connect new scheme to town

 

Rail group sends signal to Holyrood

New Waverley route must include Langholm say campaigners

 

Election briefing

Use your vote wisely

 

For whom does the bell actually toll?

Parishioners and minister clash over ‘intrusive’ ringing

 

Buccleuch to put 30 homes on the market

Tenants of Buccleuch Estates say they are shocked and distressed…

 

Bus driver crisis is getting serious

Transport company Borders Buses has introduced an emergency timetable after…

 

Ukrainian Hosts meet wall of silence

Generous residents frustrated with housing delays

 

Janet's in the frame for gallery as Phil steps down

By Nick Brownlee It’s the end of an era at…

 

High Noon for Eskdalemuir Marksmen

Opponents claim elite rifle range could put lives at risk

 

End of an era as Common Riding trio announce retirement

By Nick Brownlee Three stalwarts of Langholm Common Riding say…

 

Butcher's face the cruellest of cuts

Heartbreak for couple faced with closure of their High Street…

 

New lease of life for leisure centre plans

Facility would provide “huge health and wellbeing benefits for area”

 

Local plans drawn up to host Ukrainians

Polish charity will match families with hosts in Eskdale

 

"Pristine" items wanted and calls for cash donations

When the call went out last week for donations of…

 

Proud memories of Langholm's Moon Man

On the 50th Anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s Visit

 

Unmanaged vegetation is potential tinderbox

Heather Trust member expresses his concern over wildfires

 

Favourite local walk is changed forever

Gaskell’s footbridge removed over increasing safety concerns

 

Ill-considered approach

Analogue phone switch-off will leave remote communities vulnerable

 

Objections to four hour online consultation

Residents call for more time to examine rifle range scheme

 

Local Authority plans Council Tax hike of 3%

Very difficult decisions will have to be made

 

Digital donations

Young and old receive new computer equipment

 

Residents worried sick over rising prices

Politicians warn of impending cost of living crisis

 
 
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.