MSP highlights tourist routes' hidden dangers

AN MSP has called for a safety awareness campaign targeting three scenic roads in the Moffat Hills.

 

Oliver Mundell says constituents have contacted him over near-miss accidents on the A708 Moffat to Selkirk route and the A701 to Edinburgh.  Local residents also expressed their fears about the narrow hilly minor route with spectacular views of the Megget and Talla reservoirs which links the A708 at Cappercleuch and A701 at Tweedsmuir.  Mr Mundell stated that there was a lack of awareness amongst many visiting travellers of the dangers of the roads, particularly because of the main routes' 'A' listing.

 

The constituency MSP said: "This is not a new problem as there has been an historical under-investment in these routes and I've taken up similar issues in the past.  "The growth of timber traffic and the area's increasing popularity with motorbikers have understandably added to local worries.   "With more people enjoying the outdoors after the lockdown, places like the Grey Mare's Tail and St. Mary's Loch have been extremely busy.  "Visitors are very welcome and this is a fantastic area but I believe more should be done to highlight the twists and turns and narrow nature of these routes."

 

Mr Mundell described as tragic a fatal accident on the A708 near the Grey Mare's Tail on Sunday.  He said: "It would clearly be wrong to comment on the circumstances of that collision but this further sad event is a reminder of the risks of these roads.   "More needs to be done to educate drivers that even the 'A' classified routes are, in stretches, remote, narrow and potentially hazardous."  Mr Mundell added he planned to raise his constituents' concerns with the roads authority and Police Scotland.