IMPROVEMENTS to an “overgrown and unsightly” Borders roundabout will hopefully be carried out before Christmas, according to road officials.

BEAR Scotland representatives met with members of Hawick community last week to discuss plans for Dovemount roundabout.

The improvements are scheduled to be carried out in this financial year, according to a BEAR Scotland spokesperson, although “it is hoped they can be undertaken before Christmas”.

In the meantime, the trunk road operator says it will undertake a tidy up of the existing roundabout.

Marion Short, vice chairwoman of Hawick Community Council, said: “I was very grateful to be afforded the opportunity to meet with representatives of BEAR Scotland and Transport Scotland and resolve any issues we had with this long-standing project which will vastly improve the aesthetic appearance on the roundabout for people travelling to the town, particularly from the north.

“I am delighted that BEAR Scotland has confirmed their willingness to carry out this work hopefully by December 2021 and I know that the community of Hawick and particularly the residents of neighbouring properties will really appreciate this intervention and no longer be faced with an overgrown and unsightly roundabout.”

Key to the design is to provide “an attractive roundabout that is easy to maintain”, according to the BEAR Scotland spokesperson.

They added: “The proposed design is inspired by Hawick itself and features different coloured stones including blue slate that seeks to reflect the bend in the nearby river Teviot.

“The plans also incorporate the option to install and illuminate a Christmas tree at the centre.”

The scheme was designed by the previous trunk road operator, Amey, but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Independent Hawick and Denholm councillor Stuart Marshall described the meeting as “very productive”.

“I think once plans are finalised this gateway to our town will look much more attractive both to townsfolk and visitors alike,” he said.

“I will continue to work with BEAR on this and other matters that come under their responsibility and we plan to meet again in mid-August to hopefully finalise things.”

Mark Turner, BEAR Scotland design manager, said: “We are committed to collaborating and listening to representatives of the community.

“We appreciate that the initial plan for the Dovemount roundabout is one of many schemes that were impacted by the pandemic. As such, we are ensuring that the scheme is programmed for this financial year.”