A PROPOSED cycle zone in Selkirk has won the backing of the town’s common good fund committee.

Selkirk’s business improvement district scheme, now known as Selkirk Means Business, has unveiled plans to turn a portion of the town into a cycle repair zone, where cyclists visiting the area can rest, lock up their bikes and repair them on a specially-designed repair station.

To help fund the cycle zone, Selkirk Means Business asked for £4,500 the the town’s common good fund committee, which met on Wednesday 13 February.

A statement accompanying their application explained that the cycle zone will be situated in the shadow of the Mungo Park statue, just off the High Street.

The statement reads: “As part of our detailed assessment of visitor groups to the town and the services available it has highlighted the specific need for a cycle zone which allows visitors and locals to carry out repairs as well as securely park their bicycles in a public area whilst also taking the opportunity to take in refreshments, acting as a hub point for both meeting and relaxing either at the mid point or end of a route.

“There is a current cycle chain up point in the Market Place though this does not meet the specific needs that user groups have identified and as such to date there are few spaces for cyclists to comfortably leave their bikes within the town centre, refresh and to sit with their bike.

“The area around the Mungo Park statue and especially below the chestnut tree is a hugely popular meeting place for all ages and very well used through the year, it is though clear that the area is in grave need for an aesthetic uplift as part of the proposals the existing wall coping will be removed and replaced with new contrasting coping as well as the current uneven and broken dated paviours replaced with new appealing paving.

“In conclusion, we feel that the overall upgrade of this area both provides a huge opportunity to increase visitors to the town as well as providing a focal point amenity upgrade for locals, with the added benefit of benefiting of safeguarding the popular area for the future.”

Speaking at the meeting of the common good fund committee, Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar said: “The only thing I want to know is: do they have permission as that is council property? I mean it would certainly be an excellent thing to bring in and it will encourage cyclists to come to Selkirk, as it will be known within the circle that there is this facility for them.

“It appears it will be able to accommodate eight bikes, there’s two stands, and a bike station. There’s a bike station at Tweedbank, where you can put your bike up and work on it, blow your tyres up, et cetera.

“This is a good idea, and if it’s properly marketed it will bring folk into Selkirk.”

Councillors were broadly supportive of the application, but concerns were raised by fellow Selkirkshire councillor Elaine Thornton-Nicol around the maintenance costs of the cycle zone, as the application suggested that there were no recurring costs involved.

The committee agreed to support the cycle zone, to the tune of £4,500, but on the condition that Selkirk Means Business comes back to the common good fund committee with a detailed breakdown of maintenance costs, and proof that they have permission to redevelop the area.