Walkers, cyclists and horseriders are among the groups to benefit from the extension of the Tweed Valley Railway multi-use path, which was officially opened recently.
The £500,000 project, delivered by a funding partnership of Transport Scotland, Scottish Borders Council and Sustrans Scotland’s Places for Everyone programme, has seen the existing Peebles to Innerleithen route extended to Walkerburn.
Opening the new 2.5km section, SBC leader, councillor Shona Haslam said: “The Tweed Valley Railway multi-use path is already hugely popular, but this extension improves an already excellent facility to allow local people and visitors to get active and enjoy our fantastic area in a safe environment.”
Mrs Haslam also opened SEStran’s GO e-Bike Hub in Innerleithen a new venture by Tweeddale Youth Action which provides local community access to electric bikes for personal use, and electric cargo bikes for the business community.
Mrs Haslam added: “The opening of the SEStran GO e-Bike Hub is an equally exciting project which will aim to provide health and environmental benefits.
“Both facilities add to the already impressive offering we have in the Borders for cycling, and we plan in future to extended at both ends.”
Councillor Gordon Edgar, the council’s executive member for roads and infrastructure, and SEStran chair, added: “I am delighted the Tweed Valley Railway multi-use path is now completed, and hope it encourages more people to jump on their bike or pull on their walking shoes and get active.
“The council has worked with a number of partners on various multi-use path projects across the Borders in recent years, and we must thank Sustrans Scotland and SEStran for the significant support for both the path extension and e-Bike Hub projects.”
Project Officer, Places for Everyone, Tim Aeberli at Sustrans Scotland said: “The path makes walking and cycling more accessible to all, helping to connect communities and opens up healthier and greener travel options across the region.
“Sustrans Scotland is delighted to support the latest extension that will provide a safe and convenient active travel link between Walkerburn and Innerleithen through our Places for Everyone programme. We are especially pleased to see children using the new route to access primary schools in the area.
“Sustrans would like to thank SBC for a great partnership, and community councils and development trusts in both communities for their ongoing support on this project.”
Jim Grieve, SEStran interim partnership director, added: “SEStran, through its promotion of active travel as a key component of our regional transport strategy, is helping to work towards the Scottish government’s ambition in its programme for government.
“GO e-Bike is a great way to build on our other active travel work, introducing more people to cycling as a viable, fun transport choice for work and leisure.”
David Hodson, locality manager at Tweeddale Youth Action, added: “We are greatly looking forward to working in partnership with SEStran.
“Introducing Go e-Bike into our Bike Punks project will enable us to engage, teach and train young people across Tweeddale in bicycle repair and maintenance skills.
“Supporting an ever-growing industry of cycling and tourism within the Tweed Valley and creating much needed training and employment opportunities for young people. We look forward to exciting times ahead.”