WORK is about to start on improving a notorious accident blackspot.

Dozens of serious crashes have been reported at Dirtpot Corner - between Innerleithen and Peebles - over the past decade.

On Monday a 10-month programme of improvement works will begin on the A72 bottleneck.

As well as widening the carriageway, the £2.2 million scheme will also feature an improved road surface and the addition of modern road safety fencing as well as a parapet.

Councillor Gordon Edgar, the local authority's Executive member for Roads and Infrastructure, told us: “The A72 is a vital east-west link for the Borders and it is important it is fit for this purpose.

“One of the areas of concern on the A72 has been the narrow bend at Dirtpot Corner, which is why I am delighted that work is now set to begin to significantly improve it.

“A variety of works will be carried out as part of this project, which will not only make Dirtpot Corner safer to negotiate but do so without disrupting the local environment and road users in a significant way.”

Much of the construction work will take place beneath the road on the river bank.

As well as reducing the environmental impact and cost of the project, the planned work scheme will minimise the impact on traffic.

From Monday a 30-miles-per-hour speed limit will be introduced at Dirtpot Corner, with temporary traffic lights used at certain stages of the 10-months programme.

But a short-term closure is likely to be required during the closing stages of the project in late spring/early summer 2019.

Buses will continue to operate as normal during the works.

In a joint statement, Tweeddale East Councillors Stuart Bell, Shona Haslam and Robin Tatler, said: “It is great news that work is now to start, removing this pinch point and making the corner much safer for all vehicles.

“There is expected to be some disruption during the works and we would ask local people and commuters to give themselves extra time for their journeys.”

The Dirtpot Corner road safety scheme was announced as part of Scottish Borders Council’s budget in February.