Work to start on Peebles cycle path

WORK is expected to start on a cycle path linking Peebles, Cardrona and Innerleithen this summer, it has been confirmed.

The news came in a response to a question from Councillor Bill Herd (Tweeddale East, SNP) at last week’s monthly meeting of the full session of Scottish Borders Council.

Mr Herd had lodged a question, in which he highlighted the success of Tweeddale in the world of mountain biking.

“We as councillors know, and we repeatedly hear, that mountain biking centres at Glentress and Innerleithen are key growth points for tourism in Tweeddale and the Borders,” he said.

“Glentress is a designated pre-games training camp for the Olympics and it has just been announced that the European Downhill Cup will come to Innerleithen in June.

“A year ago, it was trumpeted that SBC got £600,000 from the Scottish Government’s Rural Priorities Fund to develop the Tweed Valley cycle path linking Peebles, Cardrona and Innerleithen.

“What is the target date for completion of the cycle path linking Peebles, Cardrona and Innerleithen and what, if any, are the risks to this project?”

The executive member for economic development, Councillor Vicky Davidson (Selkirkshire LD), said it was hoped work would start this summer and would include the construction of a bridge across the River Tweed and the upgrading of the railway path between Peebles and Innerleithen.

“This would allow work to be completed in the early stages of 2013,” she said. “The key risk to the project is that if the cost of constructing the bridge is greater than expected, this would result in less of the allocated funding being available for the upgrading of the path.

“The other key issue is that no bridge construction work can take place in the main salmon fishing season, therefore there is a risk of delay.”