THE brakes have been put on a major Borders cycling spectacle following complaints over road closures.

Tour O The Borders, one of Scotland’s biggest closed road biking events, regularly attracts around 2,000 participants.

Organisers, Peebles firm Hillside Outside Ltd, confirmed that Scottish Borders Council (SBC) has asked them to “rest the event” following requests from residents who are unhappy about the Tour’s annual road closures.

The 2023 event will be staged on an amended route in September, but will not take place in 2024.

A Hillside Outside spokesperson described the Tour’s future as “unclear”.

READ MORE: Man pleads guilty to embezzling almost £15,000 from Galashiels-based company

Hillside Outside event director Neil Dalgleish said: “Obviously it’s a big disappointment – the event has played a huge part in putting the south of Scotland on the map as a road cycling destination and brings a lot of revenue to the region.”

The event, which started with just 300 riders in 2012 and went on to closed roads in 2014, has grown to become the Borders’ biggest mass-participation sports event.

It is considered by many to be the jewel in the crown of southern Scotland’s road cycling events, and has been hailed by riders as Scotland’s most beautiful closed-road route.

But despite its popularity with cyclists and the economic boost provided for businesses, ongoing concerns about the impact of the event have been raised by residents and firms on some sections of the route.

Peeblesshire News: Tour O The Borders riders in 2022Tour O The Borders riders in 2022 (Image: Mark Davey)

Mr Dalgleish added: “It’s only a few hours of road closures, and only once a year, but the inconvenience is felt to be too much in some areas.

“Hopefully we can find a solution that allows ‘Le Touro’ to return as soon as possible.”

A Scottish Borders Council spokesperson said: “The council has been in active discussions with the event organiser for some time about the concerns of residents and businesses affected by the road closures, along the traditional Tour O The Borders route, and we welcome the amendments made to the route for this year’s event.

“An agreement was reached last year which established that the council would not permit the event to take place, on the same closed roads as the 2022 route, in either 2024 or 2025, but would allow it to return in 2026.

READ MORE: Detectives issue appeal after early-morning attempted Borders break-in

“Throughout the discussions we have encouraged the event organiser to consider establishing an entirely different route.

“This would not only alleviate the impact on the communities which have dealt with road closures, year-in-year-out, but also hopefully encourage more participants to take on a new challenge and spread the associated economic benefits to other areas of the Scottish Borders.

“In addition to putting forward the suggestion of a closed road event elsewhere in the region, we had also advised the event organiser that we would be supportive of the event continuing on the established route, but on open roads, again to mitigate some of the communities’ concerns regarding road closures, or for the 2023 event route to be used again.”

The spokesperson added: “The council has supported the Tour O The Borders event for many years, through the safety advisory group process, engagement with communities and facilitation of the necessary road closures, all at no cost.

“We will continue to engage, with the event organiser, to seek to find a solution which enables this popular event to take place in 2024 and which supports our communities and appropriately balances the economic benefits with the disruption to residents and businesses.”