Peebles gets more off road trails

by Chipps 10

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has just announced that it has been awarded £599,965 to develop the Tweed Valley path network in the tenth round of Rural Priorities funding.

So, no new Inners/Glentress trails as yet, but this is more to attract the less-rad rider, and also to allow safer riding between the different centres (you DO ride to Innerleithen from Glentress, rather than hopping in the car, don’t you?). It does seem that FC is keen to dilute the image of Glentress as a mountain bike centre and to make it a more attractive proposition for the non-cyclist. Line up your grumbles below…

Here’s what they say:

“The project will provide an off-road route connecting the town of Peebles to the villages of Cardrona and Innerleithen in the Tweed Valley, along with safe cycling and walking links between these communities, plus a link between the 7stanes mountain biking centres at Glentress and Innerleithen.

The proposed route is along a former single track railway.  The development of the route links existing and aspirational routes in the Scottish Borders Core Path Plan.  Following feasibility and detailed design work, planning permission for the development of the route between Peebles and Innerleithen was granted in March 2009.

It is hoped that this proposal will help to encourage more recreational cycling in the Tweed Valley, and will also help to keep 7stanes centres at the forefront of an expanding market.  Glentress is currently the most popular visitor destination in the Scottish Borders with approximately 300,000 visitors per annum.

Cue this very old stock FC photo of Chris Duncan riding his V-braked Guyzer frame through the forests.

Cycling has been identified as having considerable potential in the Scottish Borders and a feasibility study in 2006 identified that the area would benefit from more ‘low level’ routes appealing to family and recreational cyclists.

Cycling has also been identified as a key priority in the Scottish Borders Tourism Action Plan, and the further development of leisure cycling and walking routes will bring considerable economic benefits to the Tweed Valley area.

A feasibility study has identified market demand for the project, which estimates 27,600 cyclists and 22,400 other users using the route, with 5,000 visitors attracted to the Tweed Valley specifically because of the trail.  This equates to gross economic expenditure of £1,046,000, creating an estimated 15 net tourism jobs.

Project costs (trail and bridge construction and associated way-marking) are estimated at £800,000.  Match funding of £200,000 is being contributed from Sustrans and SBC.  It is anticipated that the project will start in 2011 and be completed by December 2012.”

Comments (10)

  1. I like it. Riding from Peebles to GT along the road is the worst bit of the experience by miles if you’re staying in Peebles. Having an option of a warm up spin without dicing with traffic sounds spot on to me.

  2. “So, no new Inners/Glentress trails as yet”

    Keep hearing this… A new section of blue is just complete at GT and will be opening in the next couple of weeks, and there’s the usual plans afoot for new and amended trails. New Ewok Villiage this year hopefully… Some people bought Emma and Tracy’s line about “no new trails” I think?

    Oh Cy, there’s a link path already been built from Peebles to GT, this is extending that idea. Very much a canal path though but still a good idea.

  3. Cant really grumble too much, Inners is ace and Glentress is a ruddy marvelous facility. i cant quite see why linking the two cost £800,000 tho? i would be surprised if the entire trail network at Glentress cost this much to build? I have been surprised before tho, anyone know what the trails at Glentress cost?

  4. A lot of that will be on a new bridge over the Tweed. I think its a great idea – preferred place to stay up there is Innerhaven in Innerleithen but the main road or that back road via Cardona are both either a major slog or a risk to your life. So a nice flat easy route to GT’s door has to be a good thing…

  5. “Keep hearing this… A new section of blue is just complete at GT and will be opening in the next couple of weeks, and there’s the usual plans afoot for new and amended trails. New Ewok Villiage this year hopefully… Some people bought Emma and Tracy’s line about “no new trails” I think?”

    Nope, just that nobody’s thought to tell us about any new trails there. 🙂

  6. “i cant quite see why linking the two cost £800,000 tho? i would be surprised if the entire trail network at Glentress cost this much to build?”

    I seem to remember someone quoting £750,000 as the cost of the trails to mid 2010 sometime.

  7. Yup Northwind is right- some newish blue sections already open, with great red graded drop offs and jumps. Looks like a big new bit of blue is close to opening, and last time around the black there were a number of folk working hard on the Ewok Village. Hope everyone signs the Hub Cafe petition when they go- best post ride cake ever

  8. There is a wee bit already done where the railway tunnel under the road has been dug out. Then they ran out of money. Just after the layby to the council depot…that’s it so far.

  9. i did wonder why they dug that tunnel to no where, i thought it was for frogs/reabbits etc to cross the road

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