CAMPAIGNERS who want timber lorries banished from a historic bridge over the River Tweed near one of Robert Burns's old haunts have criticised a council for approving repair plans.

Locals in Tweedsmuir in the Scottish Borders claim trucks are damaging their roads and want a new crossing, since timber production is forecast to increase by 50% in the next 15 years.

But councillors decided yesterday to spend £412,000 on repairs to Carlows Bridge, including a temporary replacement.

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Rod Sibbald, spokesman for The Tweedsmuir Bridge Advisory Group, said: "This option offers no long-term benefits and does not represent good value."

The council said the temporary bridge would cause less damage than a permanent one.

The 228-year-old, B-listed crossing is close to the Crook Inn, where Burns wrote the poem Willie Wastle's Wife.