Statistics released this week from the Scottish Government have shown the number of pedal cyclists injuries in the Borders have halved in the past year.
In 2017, the Scottish Government’s records show that 15 cyclists were injured in road accidents. Last year, this number dropped to 8.
The Borders was ranked as the eighth safest local authority area for cyclists in Scotland, with the Shetland Islands regarded as the safest with no reported injuries last year. Edinburgh was deemed the most dangerous area for cyclists with nearly 150 accidents recorded last year.
Cycling has been regarded as an important tourist attraction, adding over £150 million to Scotland’s economy. Scottish Borders Council has recognised the importance of encouraging cycling tourism in its Cycle Tourism Strategy 2016-2021.
The Scottish Borders has a long-established and substantial leisure-cycling offer along with world class mountain biking at the 7stanes sites at Glentress, Innerleithen, Newcastleton, and also a series of natural trails.
As part of the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland, SBC and other local authorities are encouraging cycling, with the hope that 10 per cent of journeys taken in the Borders will be by bike.
The Tour O the Borders cycling event begins on Peebles this Sunday.
South Scotland MSP, Michelle Ballantyne, praised SBC for their efforts to make cycling safer and highlighted the importance of encouraging cycling in the Borders.
Michelle Ballantyne MSP commented:
“It’s encouraging to see that cycling is becoming safer in the Borders.
“We’re blessed with a number of amazing cycling routes that attract enthusiasts from all corners of the country. Cycling has the capacity to be a great tourist attraction, so it’s important that we make use of this.
“I hope the number of accidents continues to fall, and that more people can enjoy the incredible cycling routes that the Borders has to offer.”