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Explosion fears behind town centre disruption

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By DnG Newsdesk
Lockerbie and Lochmaben

FEARS of a possible explosion saw traffic held up in Lockerbie for weeks while emergency works were carried out near the town centre, it has been revealed.

Traffic lights appeared in the middle of the town earlier this month but their presence left locals and councillors alike mystified.
And at last week’s Annandale and Eskdale Planning Committee no councillors could explain the need for the lights or knew what works were being carried out.
However, the mystery has finally been solved.
A council spokesman explained that Scottish Power contacted the local authority shortly before Easter as they needed to undertake emergency works.
He said: “Scottish Power said there had been power outages at properties on Arthur’s Place the previous weekend and voltage drops elsewhere.
“They said there were problems with the network and there was the potential risk of explosion if matters were not attended to urgently.”
He added: “Clearly, in the run-up to Easter this was unfortunate timing, but given the loss of power already experienced and potential risks involved, there was no option other than to let them in.
“Because of the location of the works in close proximity to the existing fixed lights, the two sets of lights could not have worked independently and we therefore had to switch off the existing fixed lights and incorporate these movements into the temporary arrangement.
“We also had to factor in replacement phases for pedestrian crossing movements. Unfortunately all of this resulted in additional delays, but, given the circumstances, there was no alternative.”
The temporary lights were removed last week, however that’s not the end of the disruption: works will be carried out later this year to complete the £1 million Lockerbie Regeneration Masterplan.
The council spokesman explained that the new look footpath still needs to be extended to the south end of the High Street.
He said: “We are talking to SGN at the moment as they intend to undertake some work in the high street as well, so it makes sense to tie the two projects together.
“Once there is a possible time scale from SGN we will discuss with local councillors to get their views and engage with any affected retailers etc, in advance of any work.”

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