WORK to install traffic lights at the hazardous BGH entrance will begin in February.

The junction with the A6091 has been an accident blackspot for many years.

Attempts to improve safety with better road markings, clearer signage and even banning right turns from the exit have failed to cut the number of accidents and near misses.

Plans to introduce a roundabout were dropped in the summer with a new scheme for traffic light control winning favour.

John Raine, NHS Borders chairman, is pleased that improvements are on the way. He said: “We are pleased that these important road safety works will soon be underway.

"This will ensure that the junction to the Borders General Hospital is much safer for our patients, visitors and staff.

"To deliver these improvements we are working closely with partners at Transport Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish Borders Council, Police Scotland and Amey.”

Around 11,400 vehicles use the A6091 - Melrose bypass - every day.

And it is expected that the traffic lights will cut the amount of accidents in and around the junction.

In the past decade there have been 16 crashes recorded at the junction with many more near misses.

Work will commence on Monday, February 5 and last for around six weeks.

As well as lights, a new ‘hurry on’ system will be also installed to improve the flow of traffic and allow a faster entry and exit for ambulances.

Councillor David Parker told us: “I am delighted that this important road safety scheme at the BGH junction is going ahead.

“The council is working alongside Amey, Transport Scotland, NHS Borders and the Scottish Ambulance Service on this project and while there will be some disruption to travel during the works, we believe the result will be less accidents and near misses.

“There will be a series of opportunities for the local community to hear about this scheme at upcoming community council meetings and a planned drop-in session.”

Access to the BGH, Huntlyburn Ward, Ambulance Station and Busy Bees nursery will be maintained throughout the roadworks.

The scheme will be constructed using a temporary traffic light system and single lane closures with no significant delays anticipated.

Patients attending the BGH for appointments, as well as staff and visitors should allow extra time for their journey and plan their travel in advance.

The improvements coincide with the closure of Lowood Bridge.

But planned work at Galafoot Bridge is being rescheduled.

And both the council and roads agency Amey will monitor traffic flows to ensure there are no significant issues.

Tom Wallace from Amey explained: “This is an important road safety initiative, and we have worked very closely with our stakeholders, including Borders General Hospital and Scottish Borders Council to reduce the possible impact on road users.

“A planned scheme on the A7 Galafoot Bridge, which would have coincided with this scheme, has been rescheduled, and only emergency repairs will be undertaken, if necessary.”