INNERLEITHEN signs stating: ‘No Cycling on the Pavement’ may put a spoke in the wheel of riders who disregard the law.

The issue of, mainly visiting, cyclists, labelled ‘disrespectful’ and ‘antisocial’ tearing up town pavements resulted in more than half-an-hour’s discussion at a virtual meeting of Innerleithen and District Community Council (IDCC) last Thursday (June 30).

A member of the public, Allan Johnston, spoke at the public forum and demanded action urgently to combat the problem.

Mr Johnston said: “We really need to get some form of formal permanent signage up on the entrances to the town and in the centre, just telling people that it is not acceptable to ride on the pavement.

“They need to show respect and they need to obey the law.

“It is illegal to ride on the pavement and sooner or later somebody is going to get hurt.”

Mr Johnston added that he has anecdotal evidence of people being hit by cyclists and being abused when they get in the way.

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There are temporary signs put up by event organisers.

Mr Johnston said: “Some of them are a bit ridiculous.”

The temporary signs state: “Gonnae no ride on the pavement or just Gonna no.”

“People just laugh at that,” said Mr Johnston. “We need to generate funding to get proper signage, which is clearly visible to people coming from the Red Bull carpark, perhaps before they go along the High Street and perhaps coming out of the Co-op, on both sides of the road and in Hall Street where they park.”

Mr Johnston added that the bikers really don’t care “one iota” or show much respect for Innerleithen people.

“I have heard the arguments that it is a minority,” said Mr Johnston. “Unfortunately it is a minority that does impact on the majority.”

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He added that people have become “blind” to the benefits that bikers bring to the area because they are concerned with problems which the antisocial element create.

He added that at a recent meeting to talk about the forthcoming ‘Innovation Centre,’ which is a big plus for the town, people who attended were more concerned about antisocial bikers.

“There’s a lot of talk about supplying facilities for the biking community,” said Mr Johnston. “What about showing a little bit of respect for the local people?”

Andy Weir, from Ridelines Mountain Bike Tuition, said: “I understand your frustration, Allan, but I don’t think signage would be the solution.

“There are signs saying no dog fouling and yet there are people who live in this town who ignore that signage as well.

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“People who are going to be disrespectful and ride their bike on the pavement are not going to pay any attention to a sign.”

“It is people who are disrespectful,” said Mr Weir, “I don’t think it is fair to label the mountain biking community as being disrespectful.”

Tweeddale East councillor Robin Tatler said he’d had further discussions with Scottish Borders Council’s traffic and road safety lead officer, Philippa Gilhooley, about advisory cycle lane markings on Leithen and Traquair Road.