Melrose festival has chosen to reroute its main rideout this year amid fears Lowood Bridge will not reopen in time.
The bridge has been closed for almost 20 weeks for a £640,000 repair work, and it is due to reopen in mid-June just in time for Melrose Festival, but with no guarantee of that, the festival’s main rideout will instead follow a different route on Monday, June 18.
A festival spokesman said: “While we are extremely grateful to Scottish Borders Council for keeping us up to date with progress on Lowood Bridge, and we appreciate that they are doing everything they can to complete the repairs in time, we also understand that we could be given no guarantees, so, having looked at alternatives available and consulted with relevant landowners, it was decided to go with an alternative route for this year which keeps us on this side of the river.
“We very much hope, however, that the community bike ride will be able to cross the bridge.”
Rather than crossing the River Tweed and following the Southern Upland Way towards the rear of Scabbet Hill and returning over Lowood Bridge, the rideout will instead stay on the Melrose side of the water for the entire rideout.
Leaderdale and Melrose councillor David Parker told the community council earlier this month: “The bridge works appear to be going steadily and are on time to be done by the Melrose rideout. We have had good weather which has helped that.
“But the rideout is not using the bridge.”
He also confirmed the bridge should be open for the Wednesday night cycle ride.