A FLEET of new bike-friendly buses arrived in Peebles this week.

Borders Buses have invested £750,000 in three brand new vehicles to service its X62, Peebles to Edinburgh, route.

The vehicles, E400 double deckers, have been custom designed and built by bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis.

Each bus accommodates up to two bike bays with, following positive feedback from customers, two additional bays being added to each vehicle by the end of May.

Designed with commuters, local and touring cyclists in mind the bike friendly service is aimed at minimising car journeys.

Lee Young, operations manager at Borders Buses, told us: “We recognise the way we travel is changing and active travel is increasingly becoming a popular choice with people from all walks of life.

"As a key transport provider, we are committed to continuously tailoring our product offerings to meet those changes in travel demand.

“It’s important to highlight one bike friendly bus could potentially take up a high number of cars off the road.

"With congestion in our towns and cities an ongoing issue it makes sense for commuters to ditch the car in favour of bus and bike.

“Our new buses hit the road this week and we cannot wait for our customers, both old and new, to make full use of our bike facility.”

Other features on the new vehicles include free WiFi, comfortable seating and tables, wireless and USB charging points and device friendly seat backs.

The launch of the new vehicles coincides with the introduction of contactless payment across the full Borders Buses network.

Scottish Borders Council leader Shona Haslam believes the new bike-friendly buses are a great addition.

She said: "The Scottish Borders is the leading cycling destination in Scotland, from the forests which provides a world-class mountain biking offering to the various cycling routes which allows people to explore our fantastic area.

“Tweeddale in particular has an excellent offering for cyclists of all ages and abilities, including the recent extension of the Tweed Valley multi-use path and opening of the e-Bike Hub in Innerleithen.

“The provision of these brand new bike friendly vehicles by Borders Buses on the main service through Tweeddale will be hugely welcomed by local people and visitors and we hope will see even more people travel here to experience the Scottish Borders.”

Local cyclists Colin Cotter, from Peebles, and Steven Cooper, from Dalkeith, have been recruited to demonstrate how to load bikes inside the new buses.

Their video can been viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=70XoQ8C4NFs&feature=youtu.be