STEPS towards building a second bridge across the River Tweed in Peebles are gathering pace.

The Peeblesshire News can reveal that Scottish Borders Council has drawn up a timeline to move the process forward.

A workshop will be presented to elected SBC officials and to members of Peebles Community Council in the next few months as part of a consultation event.

It is understood that an internal consultation process will be launched within Scottish Borders Council later this month followed by a meeting with Scottish Borders Councillors towards the end of May.

A public consultation event will follow in late June involving Peebles Community Council and other groups in the town.

The process has delighted local councillor Willie Archibald, who said: "It is encouraging that progress is being made on an alternative crossing to Tweed Bridge.

"Given that the existing Tweed Bridge as we know it today is 120-year-old and if you consider that it was designed for horse-drawn carts. It is incredible that the bridge has survived as long as it has.

"Any local authority has to be mindful of the future. If we look at the expansion of Peebles over the years and the many thousands of people who now live on the south side of the Tweed it is vital that we have an alternative crossing.

"If the Tweed Bridge was be compromised in any way it would be rather devastating for the community."