A SENIOR sports official has expressed disappointment that the trains which will operate on the Borders Railway from September next year will only have storage space for two bicycles.

Rick Kenney, chairman of ClubSport Borders, which represents local clubs across the sporting spectrum, described that lack of capacity as “a missed opportunity” at last week’s meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s Eildon Area Forum in Stow.

A former Scottish and UK judo champion, Mr Kenney claimed major investment was rightly taking place to promote the Borders as a centre for both competitive and leisure cycling.

“I am sure I was not alone in imagining that the railway would complement this important strategy and add to the lasting legacy from the hugely successful Commonwealth Games,” he said.

He was reacting to a presentation from Jonathan Hepton, SBC’s railway community liaison manager, which featured internal photographs of the two-carriage Scotrail Class 158 train which will operate between Edinburgh and Tweedbank.

Each train will also have a single toilet and, with its narrow aisle, space for just one wheelchair user.

Mr Kenney’s concerns were echoed by Councillor Bill Herd who told the meeting: “I have never seen more bikes in the Borders than there are today. It’s clearly a customer base which needs to evolve and I hope the train operators will take note.” The importance of cycling to the local economy was stressed in June when SBC tendered a £10.5million bid to the Scottish Government to “refresh” the region’s mountain biking sector – faced with unprecedented competition at home and abroad – as part of a South of Scotland rural development programme.

At last week’s forum meeting, Mr Kenney, a member of Galashiels Community Council, cited last week’s revelation in the Border Telegraph that local swimming pool opening hours were being cut by the Borders Sport and Leisure Trust as a cost-cutting measure.

On his suggestion, the forum agreed to invite representatives of the trust to address its next meeting in November.

“We need to know how such decisions are made and how they sit with the need for the Borders to develop and benefit from a lasting legacy from the Commonwealth Games,” said forum chairman Councillor Bill White.