A new footpath following the route of the region’s former rail route and which cost over £1million, was opened this week.
Scottish Environment and Climate Change minister Paul Wheelhouse formally opened the new Tweed Valley Railway Path, running between Peebles and Innerleithen, on Tuesday.
The path, providing opportunities for walking, cycling and horse-riding, includes a new bridge over the River Tweed, where the opening took place.
Mr Wheelhouse said the country has to look at ways of reducing its carbon footprint and initiatives such as the Tweed Valley Railway Path will encourage active travel as a lower-carbon option.
“We need to give people the facilities to choose walking and cycling as part of the plan to fight climate change, as well as promoting healthier lifestyles,” he said. The path utilises an old railway tunnel that runs under the A72 Road at Eshiels as part of a six-mile route linking Peebles, Eshiels, Cardrona and Innerleithen.
It also provides excellent off-road links to the world-class mountain biking centres at Glentress and Innerleithen, and offers more opportunities for journeys by bike, he said.
Scottish Borders Council roads spokesman, Councillor Gordon Edgar, says the hope is that the path will also bring more people into the area and boost employment opportunities.
“We hope that the new route will also help further support the Borders’ position as a world-renowned cycling destination,” he added.
The path, which has been 10 years in the making, was completed earlier this year with cash from the government, Sustrans (sustainable transport charity) and the local authority. It links Peebles into the Sustrans National Cycle Network, which runs up the Tweed Valley to Innerleithen and Edinburgh.