COMMUNITY calls for a light-controlled crossing on a controversial stretch of road in Galashiels look to have been dismissed by the council after a one-day survey.

Hundreds of houses have been built along the C77 as part of Eildon Housing and Persimmon developments.

The increase in activity on the road has led locals to ask for improved safety measures, including a zebra crossing or traffic lights at the Melrose Gait estate.

But a meeting of Galashiels Community Council this month heard that a light-controlled crossing would be “difficult to justify”.

In a response to concerns over the C77, read aloud by group chairwoman Judith Cleghorn, Scottish Borders Council leader Euan Jardine said: “At the planning stage of Melrose Gait, a traffic assessment was carried out to determine if a light-controlled crossing could be justified considering the vehicle flows, gaps in traffic and expected pedestrian volumes and it was determined that the pedestrian demand was expected to be quite low and could not justify a crossing on C77 at Melrose Gait.

“Following requests from elected members and the community previously to install a light-controlled crossing on the C77 at Melrose Gait, we undertook a limited pedestrian survey in May 2022 (it was only one day, May 10).

“Accepting it was limited, our results showed that in the morning there were eight unaccompanied children, 12 accompanied children, five other pedestrians and four cyclists, in the afternoon there were eight accompanied children, three unaccompanied children and 12 other pedestrians.

“Based on the numbers, it is really difficult to justify a light-controlled crossing at this particular location.

“There are a number of locations in Galashiels such as Scott Street and High Buckholmside/Ladhope which are far busier with vehicles and pedestrians which officers would recommend are more in justifiable and proportionate need of a light-controlled crossing before the C77.”

But the meeting was told that a pedestrian crossing would be introduced on the C77 at Coopersknowe as part of the expansion of the Persimmon Melrose Gait development.

Mr Jardine, a Galashiels councillor, said: “We are awaiting clarification from Persimmon on timescales for this, but understand that this development is currently on hold until the housing market picks up.

“Once this crossing is in place, this will allow people to circulate by foot, wheel or cycle between Melrose Gait, Coopersknowe and the new EHA development without having to walk alongside the C77.”

The Border Telegraph approached Persimmon for a comment on the plans for a pedestrian crossing.

The road has proved contentious for many years, with concerns raised over the speed of vehicles on the 30mph stretch.

The council said that Eildon’s Coopersknowe development – due to be finished in March – would “help change the environment, helping to keep traffic speeds in check”.

But it said it would not support further development beyond that currently planned “without a realigning of the road providing a connection/link into Easter Langlee”.

Meanwhile, Mr Jardine confirmed that the C77/Melrose Road roundabout was being designed.

Work is planned to start in August or September, with a six-to-nine-month construction timeframe envisaged.