Extra coastal defences planned for notorious Galloway road

The Kenneavys, who drowned together in the floods of last November
The Kenneavys, who drowned together in the floods of last November

A Drummore couple who drowned after their car was swept off a notorious Galloway coastal road may not have died in vain.

The tragic end of James and Susan Kenneavy near their home in November’s floods has led to plans for extra coastal defences being speeded up and plans forr new emergency road closure measures being put in place.

Calls for action were made after the popular elderly couple disappeared on a journey on the A716 during last year’s storm.

Council workers, clearing up shoreline debris the next day, discovered their empty car, sparking a major search resulting in their bodies being recovered shortly afterwards at Port William.

Dumfries and Galloway Council ordered a report from officials on safety measures on the road and what improvements could be made to try to ensure that the Kenneavy tragedy is never repeated.

Now that report has come before councillors for approval.

It said that previously planned coastal defences along the route were being brought forward and that the system of emergency closures of vulenrable roads during bad weather was also being reviewed.

The recommended extra measures had been drawn up in consultation with emergency planners and they had noted that the A716 had been closed on the night of the accident but recommended the stretch of the route subject to storm closure be extended to north of Drummore.

It also recommended a full inspection of the state of the B7065, the alternative route when the A716 is closed.

Councillors were told by officials that work on the extra measures was “progressing” and an update report would be delivered soon.