David Mundell is Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

Long road to junction solution

AS WE move into 2019 I'm feeling slightly more hopeful about one issue that has featured in my case files for most of my years at Westminster.

It is the dangerous Leadburn Junction where the A701, A703 and A6094 converge between Peebles and Penicuik and has been a bugbear for many of my Tweeddale constituents for decades.

I have supported a number of attempts to have a major improvement scheme carried out to make the junction safer but so far to no avail.

Roundabout and re-alignment schemes have both been proposed at different times.

Whilst there have been recorded accidents over the years, there are also many anecdotal accounts of near misses, which are, of course, not included in statistics used for prioritising roads spending.

Although the junction is just outside my constituency, I've been happy to raise the issue with the appropriate authorities because of concerns raised with me by many road-users I represent.

The lack of progress so far has been frustrating but I'm a great believer that in politics perseverance over a long period can be necessary to find solutions to challenging problems.

That's why in the coming weeks I'm giving my full backing to Conservative councillors in both Midlothian and Scottish Borders councils who will be campaigning for improvements at the junction.

Also actively supporting the initiative is South of Scotland MSP Michelle Ballantyne.

Let's hope this joint approach works, as removing a risk is always far better than reacting to a tragedy.

Going the extra mile

I WAS pleased to see at least eight constituents across Dumfriesshire Clydesdale and Tweeddale awarded New Year honours.

The men and women included in the latest list have gone the extra mile in their chosen career or field of interest and made a significant contribution to communities or the wider public good.

I know during my travels through the constituency I see first-hand just how many people do such a lot for others and, whilst they might not be on the honours list, their efforts are greatly appreciated and do not go unnoticed.