Public to be consulted on cycling event

A public consultation has been launched by Scottish Borders Council on the proposed running of the popular Tour O’ The Borders closed road cycling event, planned for Sunday, September 5.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 10:53 am
The cycling event is held on closed roads in the Borders region. Photo: Ian Linton.

The consultation follows an application from the event organiser, Hillside Outside, to operate the event on the same routes as had been agreed for the 2020 event, but which unfortunately had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions.

The consultation is open until Sunday, August 1, and is in addition to the organisers’ own discussions with local community organisations and residents.

The consultation can be found at www.scotborders.gov.uk/consultations

The event is very popular with local amateur cyclists and families as well as visitors, but it has come under fire in previous years from farmers who were worried that the closed roads could mean they were going to be unable to harvest their crops when they needed to.

Residents along the route have also expressed concerns about not being able to use their cars in an emergency.

Going forward, the council has agreed with Hillside Outside that another formal public consultation will take place following this year’s event and ahead of the submission of any application for a 2022 event, to understand more broadly the views of communities and residents on the event and the impact of road closures. It will also form the basis of future discussions with the event organiser.

Councillor Mark Rowley, executive member for economic regeneration and finance, said: “The Tour O’ The Borders has become an extremely successful and well-supported event in the amateur cycling calendar and provides significant economic benefits to the Borders due to the number of participants, many of whom travel from far and wide to take part.

“The proposed route for the 2021 event remains as it has for a number of years, however, we would still encourage residents to provide their views.

"We look forward to taking forward a more in-depth consultation in due course and have further discussions with the event organiser around the options for the 2022 event and beyond, including potential changes to the route.”