AN INNERLIETHEN man has launched a campaign to make the town ‘cycle-friendly’ after several near misses between cyclists and residents.

As reported in the Peeblesshire News last month, retired policeman Allan Johnston raised concerns at the town’s community council meeting, calling for a curb on cyclists mounting pavements in and around his hometown.

Mr Johnston said he had witnessed several near misses and had even been the victim of one when exiting from his gate onto Peebles Road.

Now Allan wants to promote the town as a ‘cycle-friendly’ area for bike enthusiasts with new signage, whilst encouraging them to not cycle along the pavement and have consideration for local residents.

The proposed new signage states: “Cyclists, Innerleithen is a Cycle Friendly Town, you need to be friendly too. For the safety of local residents, do not cycle on the pavement.”

He has taken his message to a number of local venues, event organisers and the police who have all supported the new initiative to publicise the town’s friendly stance.

Allan said: “Local residents have expressed their support for appropriate signage and some have been in touch with MP David Mundell about it.

“We are friendly and welcoming to cyclists, but will not tolerate the dangerous practices of cycling on the pavement or other irresponsible behaviours.

“In addition, the director of roads has been contacted and Tracey Logan, SBC’s chief executive is to be contacted. Duncan Nisbet from the Enduro Series events, and Emma Guy, recently-appointed Business Improvement District (BID) programme Co-ordinator, which aims to turn the Tweed Valley into a world-class cycling destination, are also to be approached.

“PC Christopher Burnside also feels that the police presence needs to focus on times of high concentration of cyclists in the area, namely when specific events are running, in order to get the message across.

“The recently formed Community Action Team would be the ideal body to target this dangerous, anti-social, behaviour.”