A BORDERS resident says he is concerned that delayed manhole repairs could damage a newly-resurfaced road in the town.

Bryan Stewart, who lives on Innerleithen Road, Peebles, said that resurfacing works were completed on the road by Scottish Borders Council (SBC), but that noisy manhole covers owned by Openreach were not repaired.

Mr Stewart said: “The road works were here for three weeks and it all seemed to go well.

“The [council] roads department managed the project like clockwork.”

However, Mr Stewart, 69, was confused when he found that at least four manhole covers along the stretch of road had not been repaired.

When he spoke with workers about the missed coverings, he was informed that they belonged to Openreach so could not be repaired by SBC workers.

“I asked what was happening and I was told that they [Openreach]turned up and then went away in the same day,” he said. “It was my understanding that Openreach would come back at a later date.”

An SBC spokesperson said: “Whenever works are being carried out on a road in the Borders, we always attempt to co-ordinate it with other scheduled works by utility firms in the same section of road, to minimise disruption to road users.

“When undertaking the resurfacing at Innerleithen Road, we discussed with Openreach carrying out their essential manhole cover repairs at the same time.

“Unfortunately, this did not happen on this occasion, which means Openreach will be required to undertake these works – which are expected to be carried out under traffic lights over one to two days – at a later date.

“We will be discussing this with Openreach to try to avoid such a scenario being repeated in the future.”

A spokesperson from Openreach told this newspaper that works to complete repairs to manholes along Innerleithen Road would commence on Monday, December 8.

They said: “Unfortunately while the option of joint working was explored with SBC, the contractors were unable to attend on the day. We’re investigating this further.

“The outstanding work has now been agreed for December 8 and we’ve been advised it should take one day to replace manhole frames and covers.”

But Mr Stewart, who moved to the property near Hydro Gardens just over two years ago, is concerned that the new road surface will be “dug up” during the next round of works.

“I don’t want to think of the chaos caused if the road is ripped up again,” he added. “Openreach need to ensure that the new road surface isn’t damaged during repairs.”

The spokesperson for Openreach added: “We’ve been assured that sub-contractors will complete the road reinstatement to the normal, like-for-like standard and will liaise with the council on this.

“We’re sorry for any further disruption to residents and have asked our contractors to do everything possible to keep this to a minimum.”