FURIOUS residents have criticised Scottish Borders Council (SBC) for announcing that a road will be closed for 18 months.

The B170 (or Caddonfoot Road) closed to motorists on Monday (July 13).

But residents of Fairnilee, who say they were only given six days’ notice of the move, have slammed the decision.

"This closure means a lot to me,” said Graeme Kerr, a 59-year-old landscaper, who uses the route multiple times a day - including for visits to his elderly mother in Clovenfords.

An SBC spokesperson said the closure will “benefit a variety of vulnerable road users”.

However, according to one Fairnilee resident, who we agreed to grant anonymity, all of the hamlet’s 28 inhabitants are opposed to the closure.

The resident wrote a letter to the council on behalf of the community.

It reads: "We are all shocked and furious to learn that the road is being 'temporarily closed' (for 18 months) without any evidence-based consultation process (including road traffic, road safety, residents or pedestrian surveys) or prior warning and that this will come into effect in six days’ time.”

The letter describes residents as feeling “entirely ignored”.

It continues: "Many people on the estate have elderly residents living in Clovenfords that sometimes require urgent attention (registered blind, disabled, etc) and the road closure will undoubtedly increase their response time for emergencies.

"Everyone uses the road to travel to and from work, some four times per day.

“Closing the road will increase two-way traffic considerably on the A72 between Caddonfoot and the roundabout which is already dangerous, especially around the junction from Peel - has this even been considered?

“There are a huge number of accessible off-road trails around Clovenfords and land that could be developed to increase these. Why do we need another?"

Meanwhile, Mr Kerr said “it's not like we need more walks”, adding: “If they're keen to make it better for pedestrians, they should put in a footpath and leave the road open."

An SBC spokesperson said: "This will benefit a variety of vulnerable road users including children as well as those looking for a quieter surfaced walk away from the A72 such as elderly or disabled pedestrians.

"We are keen for as many residents as possible to benefit from this trial as soon as possible, especially over the summer holidays.

"As the diversion route is straightforward there did not appear to be any other reason to delay this as part of the Temporary Traffic Regulation Order process.

"We informed the local community council and elected members of this trial closure as it was apparent from a recent Borders-wide public consultation process available online that many locals were keen to see an improvement in this area.

"An evaluation will take place towards the end of the 18-month period to see if there is an appetite for a permanent change.

"We chose an 18-month period as this is in line with the Temporary Traffic Regulation Order process and we felt it gave us suitable time to review the situation."