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AN appeal has been made for two parks in Peebles to become no-go areas for cyclists.

And the people of the town will have their say whether bikers should be banned from both Hay Lodge and Victoria parks.

Last week Peebles Community Council was asked to conduct a consultation exercise to discover if there is support for a ban.

Concerns over the number of bike riders using the Peebles Common Good parks have been growing. 

It was claimed that cyclists were adversely affecting the amenity for other park users.

It was also suggested there had previously been a cycling ban at both locations.

The matter was referred to the Peebles Common Good Fund Sub-Committee, which is made up of the the six Tweeddale councillors, which sought a view from SBC’s legal services department on the implications of any ban or restrictions.

And after hearing that advice at its meeting last week, the sub-committee, as custodians of the parks, agreed that the opinions of the Peebles public should be sought.

Tweeddale councillor Catriona Bhatia said: "As the complaint was raised at the community council, we have asked that body to undertake some consultation on whether any changes should to be made regarding cycling in these parks.

“I have no doubt there will be divided opinions on this matter so a cautious and informed approach is required."

On the issue of previous cycling bans, SBC’s legal team said in its briefing note that no council officer had any record or recollection of there ever having been any management rules at the two parks.

The report stated: “Officers have advised there appears to be some anecdotal evidence suggesting that about 40 years ago there might have been some ban or signage in place at Victoria Park following an accident.

“However, there is no detail of what that was, how long it lasted and, indeed, how the ban was effected.”

The advice makes it clear that a complete ban on cycling would be “problematic” because the Common Law rights of landowners are now subject to the significant restriction of Right to Roam as enshrined in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act.

“Under that legislation everyone has the right to be on or cross land for recreational purposes…and these rights of access extend to cycling” stated the briefing note.

“Right of access is, of course, a right to responsible access which must not interfere with the rights of others.

“It is possible there may be some scope for a management approach to the parks which ensures any exercise of access rights is, indeed, responsible.”