The dream of establishing a multi-user trail between Langlee woods and Stow is a few steps closer, although it is likely to cost more than originally thought.
Trail designer Pete Laing told June’s meeting of Galashiels Community Council that the plan is for the pathways to be used by cyclists, walkers and horseriders alike.
However, the topography of Langlee woods, in regards to the steepness of existing paths, could ramp up the costs.
He told community councillors: “The Langlee woods is a marvellous strip of ancient woodland, but the access paths are all too steep.
“The problem is not insurmountable, but the gradient is too steep for people to cycle up it.
“We would need to build new access track to the high ground that would complement the existing network.”
The added length of track required would increase the cost of the project, which Mr Laing said “could be £2million”.
There are also problems as to where the route would fit in between Galashiels and Stow.
Community councillor Bill White, who has been championing the cycle trail, said: “Anyone putting a path between these two points would generally do it at river level, but the railway has taken all the low level access routes north,
“However, there is the added bonus of there being fantastic views of the valley, including the river, from above.”
Further challenges include the land at Langlee mains, and road access to the main points at Langlee and Ladhope.
Community councillor Tom Ingoldsby, who lives in the Ladhope estate, said: “This is a great project, but will you be inviting people to take their cars up to Langlee and Ladhope to go on an use the trails on their bikes?
“Ladhope is a quiet, residential area, and we don’t want it to become a problem ... I don’t want to have to jam on my brakes to avoid a cyclist.”
Mr Laing replied: “You would really want people to base themselves in the town centre, but yes, families with younger kids will want to get as close to the trails as possible with their car.
“There are areas to the west side of the golf course which are suitable for car parking, and it doesn’t need to be high-quality tarmacadam car parks, either.”
Mr White said that it didn’t have to start with all facilities in place.
He added: “Look at what Glentress was like even three years ago and see the modern facilities that are there now, it’s amazing.”
Discussions on the initial trail layouts are expected to take place with affected groups by early August and a report on the proposals will be completed by October.