FURIOUS residents in Innerleithen believe things went downhill with the staging of a major mountain bike festival in the town.

Thousands of riders from around the world flocked to the Transcend Bike Festival last month.

It was the first edition of the bike and music festival in Innerleithen by TweedLove and is said to have boosted the local economy significantly.

But five residents attended the open public forum of Innerleithen’s Community Council to present a lengthy catalogue of complaints.

Although they were not against the festival per se, they said the site at Nether Pirn Farm was not suitable and the sheer volume of speeding traffic on the residential streets leading to the site was like “whacky races”.

They claim that visitors and organisers of the event were flouting the rules of the road, and they received abusive and threatening behaviour when they challenged festival-goers parking in private residential bays.

The homeowners also say they witnessed bikers cycling on pavements and changing in the streets in daylight, with one comparing the biking event to a “rock festival” after being disturbed by loud music over the course of the weekend.

Stephen Gregory said: “It doesn’t give us any pleasure being here tonight but I’ve been very disappointed in the community council in some ways and others.

"I am led to believe from what I’ve read that back in January that a chap came here asking to run an event in Innerleithen.

“Two weeks before this Transcend re-configuration of TweedLove that was in Peebles descended on Innerleithen and the first that we knew about it as residents of St Ronan’s and Craig Terrace was a letter shoved through our letterbox. In disgust we were.”

Mr Gregory said the many stipulations set out in order for the smooth running of the event were not followed.

This included specific areas for parking, camping, and the one-way system traffic order for St Ronan’s Road and Craig Terrace being ignored leading to warnings by police.

He added: "As residents we are not killjoys but not in our street.”

Resident of Craig Terrace David Stuart added: “The sheer volume of the cars, trailers, burger vans was completely outrageous for a residential street.

"Some of them were going down the street like it was a race track.

"We accept the fact that we live by a school, twice a day we get an influx of people parking on the pavement, and we accept that. There’s Games Week, we get the noise from that and it’s absolutely fine. But the volume of traffic was outrageous.

“One more point was the beat music from the festival itself. Our house backs onto the school grounds we could hear the boom boom boom watching our television in the living room which is kind of out of order. It sounded like a rock festival.

“I’m all for the bikers I think it’s a great thing, brought life back to the wee town, it looks great. A wee bit money’s being spent, perhaps not an awful lot, but at the end of the day I feel their interests are putting ahead of the local people. I feel its bikers first us second.”

Robert Hamilton from Plora Avenue said he was woken by a van left running outside his house at 2am which filled his bedroom up with smoke.

He did complain to the event organisers who apologised and said it wouldn’t happen again.

Robin Goodfellow claimed the stewarding was lacking, and the traffic management was chaos.

Meanwhile Mr Gregory said that Nether Pirn Farm was an unsuitable location.

“We have showground at Horsburgh Ford. It's minutes on a bike down that beautiful cycle track we’ve got.”

After hearing their complaints, the residents were informed that the community council has no involvement in consultations regarding events such as Transcend.

Chairman Marshall Douglas said: “They came to us and told us they were going to have the event and in due course there would be traffic and parking arrangements, so we were agreeing to the broad principal of the festival taking place which we thought was going to be well managed as it was being organised in consultation with the police and Scottish Borders Council.”

Councillor Stuart Bell explained how events such as Transcend are organised with the local authority.

He added: “We are all very concerned about what you’ve said but I think it’s positive that with some qualifications that you’ve got no objection to the festival. You would prefer it to be at another location if it was suitably organised, suitably stewarded in a suitable place.”

Harley Lothian from festival organisers Hillside Outside Ltd said: “During the festival any issues raised were dealt with at the time.

"The response was overwhelmingly positive from the local residents and we have only received two negative pieces of feedback which we have of course dealt with. We have not been made aware of any further issues to date but when we receive the full minutes from the Community Council we will of course take the correct course of action.

“We worked closely with both the Innerleithen Community Council and the Scottish Borders Council pre-event and are continuing to do so post-event on specific event issues and more general biking concerns within the community.”