Calls for a temporary A68 Pathhead bus

Wednesday August 26th 2020


Owen Thompson MP, centre, meets BEAR Scotland Engineers on the A68 near Fala.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Owen Thompson MP praised the engineers of BEAR Scotland for their speedy progress to repair the damage caused by the landslide on the A68 near Fala during a visit to the site today, but called for a temporary bus service to be set up swiftly for the people of Pathhead who have been left without a service again.

The 20 metre Fala embankment failed during severe weather on August 12, causing the carriageway to collapse and full closure of the road, stopping the 51/52 Borders Bus from getting through and causing extensive diversions up the A7.

Repairs have already reached phase 2, the filling in phase, with utility diversions completed, 5000 tonnes of stone secured to rebuild the embankment and around 2000 tonnes of rock already laid. They are expected to be completed in September.

Mr Thompson said

“The extent of the damage caused by the landslide on this busy road is mind-blowing. I’m thankful that no-one was hurt and very grateful for the swift action to set up diversions and get things cleared and stabilised.

“Since taking over responsibility for the work, the BEAR Scotland engineers have been working exceptionally quickly to identify the solutions needed and get repairs progressing.

“While it’s great to see such fantastic progress, my biggest concern while the road remains closed is for the local community around Pathhead who find themselves yet again isolated from vital shops and services as the bus service can’t get through. The limited ‘ring and go’ service simply doesn’t fill the gap and I urge the council to find a better temporary solution to make sure no-one is left struggling, so shortly after Covid restrictions were lifted.

“Meantime, I thank the engineers and everyone involved in the collaborative efforts to get the A68 up and running again as soon as possible. While the Scottish weather can play havoc with timescales, I hope they get a fair wind to get the road open again in September as planned.”

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