SAFETY fears have been raised over a seven-figure Peeblesshire path which has yet to open.

The concerns over the Peebles to Eddleston walkway were prompted after reports of cars careering down the bank after coming off the adjacent A703.

Fears were particularly raised about the area where the path is close to the road and there are sharp bends, with vehicles travelling at 60mph.

In response to the concerns, a Scottish Borders Council (SBC) spokesperson said walkers should be “aware” of the potential dangers while using the route.

“This is a multi-use path and therefore in many respects no different to a footway adjacent to a road and therefore there will not always be fencing or barriers in place and users should be aware of that, in particular where it is being used, for example, by dog walkers,” said the spokesperson.

“The approved design for this multi–use path received planning approval and has been agreed by Sustrans who provide context-specific and evidence-led solutions based on needs of every project.

“The Road Safety Audit (Stage 3) and design team responses have now been agreed by the roads planning team and following the imminent installation of the delineation markers at Eddleston Village the path will be fully open for use.”

More than £2 million of funding was secured for the creation of the path.

The project forms part of a campaign aiming to encourage more active travel in the region and make the Peebles and Eddleston areas more appealing places to walk, cycle or wheel.

It is not officially open but people have been walking and cycling along the route.

Tens of people commented on social media group Peeblesshire Road and Traffic Watch raising concerns over the safety of the path.

One said: “The amount of cars that have ended up off this road is scary.”

Another member added: “One of the things that has really worried me about the new path is that there’s zero protection from a car losing control and hurtling down or onto other sections across and into the pathway.

“It is more than cyclists at danger, it isn’t a cycle path, it’s a multi-use path for horses walkers or other wheeled vehicles.”

Tweeddale West councillor Drummond Begg said: “There are specific safety concerns that I have raised and before the path is formally opened the route must pass a road safety audit.

“This will hopefully address any concerns regarding safety.

“I am aware of many people who are looking forward to the path being formally opened.

“By providing active transport options the hope is that it will provide health, environmental and tourism benefits.”

Peebles Community Trust and Eddleston Community Council are planning an inclusive official opening event, likely to be in mid- June.