LOWOOD Bridge is to close later this month, to allow major repair work to be carried out.

The 250-year-old structure will be shut from Wednesday, January 31 for around 20 weeks.

Once the £640,000 works are completed, which is expected to be in June 2018, the bridge’s 26 tonne weight limit will be removed.

Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, councillor Gordon Edgar, said: “We appreciate the closure of Lowood Bridge will have a significant impact but once these essential works are completed, weight restrictions will be removed and the bridge can once again be used by all vehicles and pedestrians. 

“We would ask local people and commuters to give themselves a bit extra time for their journeys during the repair and strengthening works to the bridge, which will ensure this vital transport link can be used for many years to come.”

Diversions signs will be in place, with the alternative route via the A6091, A7 through Galashiels and B6374 road. 

Pedestrians can use the Chain Bridge at Gattonside as an alternative route.

And bus routes will be affected:

The following 60 service departures from the Galashiels Transport Interchange, Monday to Saturday, will operate via Langlee, Winston Road, Tweed Road, Kingsknowes Roundabout for A6091 to BGH and normal route: Service 60 (Monday to Friday) - 5.15am, 6.15am, 7.37am and 8am; Saturday - 6.30am.

In addition, the 8am service from Galashiels will leave five minutes earlier on schooldays at 7.55am, calling at Langlee at 8am.

Service 67 (Monday to Saturday): The 7am service will leave Galashiels five minutes earlier at 6.55am, calling at Langlee at 7am.

All other 60 and 67 departures from Galashiels will operate direct from the Transport Interchange via Abbotsford Road, Kingsknowes Roundabout, Tweedbank Industrial Estate for A6091 to BGH for normal route.

Services 60, 67 and 68 from Melrose to Galashiels will operate direct from BGH to Kingsknowes Roundabout, Abbotsford Road and Currie Road to the Transport Interchange. Buses will call at Tweedbank Industrial Estate on request to the driver by passengers.

Service 61 will operate via Tweedbank and Langlee when travelling to Galashiels on request to the driver by passengers.

Service 71 will operate from Melrose Gait via Winston Road, Tweed Road, Kingsknowes Roundabout for A6091 to BGH to Melrose in both directions all day.

Service 313 will operate from BGH to Kingsknowes Roundabout, Tweed Road and Winston Road for normal route to Galashiels.

And the Earlston High School E01 service will serve Darnick before calling at Gattonside both morning and afternoon.

A temporary bus stop at Winston Road has also been added for use during the closure.