It is very generous of Scottish Borders Council to offer “Golden Tickets” to allow nominations for people to be among the first passengers on the Borders Railway (your report, 23 March).
As the criteria for nomination includes “people who have had a challenging year”, I would like to nominate the residents of Heriot and Falahill.
Thanks to the activities of BAM, which is building it, they have had to endure quarry blasting that has damaged properties; mud on the roads that coated cars within minutes; loss of water supplies; construction traffic from early morning to late evening; interminable multiple traffic lights with long sequences; closure of roads without warning and without adequate alternative routes and our principal road junction lying half-finished for months.
There has also been closure of bridges for BAM’s convenience for nearly two years; an underpass that still floods with alarming frequency and which will have taken 12 months to complete; the installation of an access road with a ridiculous and dangerous gradient at Cowbraehill and ever-shifting timetables for works to be completed and an electrical generator that disturbs the village as it runs night and day.
Add to this the mistruths, half-truths, broken promises and downright lies at our community council meetings; excessive streetlighting along the A7 that doesn’t even illuminate the point where pedestrians actually cross and now, our latest fiasco: lighting on the underpass that is so poorly designed that local residents living 150 metres away can read a book from the overspill in their bedrooms. I think that counts as a challenging year.
I’d offer for our residents to board the train at the station in Heriot, but we aren’t getting one.
(Dr) Gavin Whittaker
Heriot Community Council