HAWICK MSP John Lamont has called for investment to provide special cycle routes in and around the town.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament this week, the Tory representative has stated that more money should be spent in areas such as Hawick, to provide a safer environment for cyclists.
He said: “Investment in cycling in the Borders pales into insignificance when compared to more urban areas.”
And describing Hawick specifically, later added: “There are some great cycling routes including the loops to Newcastleton and Roberton. However, these routes could be made more popular if parts of the A7 road were improved and made safer for cyclists. This could also help many of our local tourism businesses if more cyclists visited the area.”
And he has the full backing of Hawick’s Border Cycles shop owner, Julian Cram. He said: “I would love to see some of our old railway paths turned into cycling routes. And I’ve always thought Hawick to St Boswells in particularl would make a brilliant utility path. It’s nice and flat and could be used by commuters.”
Mr Lamont has highlighted the recent increase in popularity for cycling following two successive British wins in the Tour de France, but says that surveys show that many people still believe it is too dangerous.
“We have a unique opportunity at the moment to encourage more people to take up cycling”, he stated. “We cannot allow this opportunity to pass us by and we need to be doing everything we can to encourage cyclists on to our roads. But unfortunately many are being put off by the dangerous environments we currently have on our roads.” “
He added: “That is why we need to see investment in a cycling network in Hawick and the Borders. By converting old rail lines and building new cycle routes we can help to vastly improve safety and encourage more people to take up this healthy hobby.”