MORE than £2 million of funding has been secured for the creation of an active travel path in the Borders.

The multi-use path between Peebles and Eddleston will be for walkers, cyclists, wheelers and horse riders.

Construction on the project is due to start in November, according to a council spokesperson.

It is anticipated the path will be completed in spring 2022.

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Selkirkshire councillor Gordon Edgar, executive member for infrastructure, travel and transport, said: “Travel habits have changed significantly for many during the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result more and more people are choosing to walk, cycle or wheel around the region.

“The council has been working with a range of partners to extend the existing network of multi-use paths across the Borders and in doing so promote alternative modes of transport.”

The independent councillor added: “By creating a dedicated path we will make the area safer for residents and visitors and encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles.”

Lawrie Hayworth, chairman of Peebles Community Trust, said: “Over the past three years the Peebles Community Trust, funded by Sustrans, has taken the lead to bring this project to fruition.

“This work has enabled a partnership to be formed for the delivery of this exciting new transport link.

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“We are looking forward to seeing this project being completed as we continue to work to develop the linkage between this path and the Tweed Valley Railway Path (TVRP).”

Les Turnbull, chairman of Peebles Community Council, said: “This is a really exciting development which enhances the whole area for the benefit of residents and visitors.

“We are hopeful that the new path will provide more opportunities for businesses in the town as well as increasing the scope for healthy exercise.”

Funding from the Scottish Government and South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) will help support Scottish Borders Council’s delivery of the active travel path between the two areas.

SOSE chairman professor Russel Griggs said: “I am delighted that SOSE has supported the Eddleston Water Path project with £656,000 worth of funding.

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“This is a fantastic example of a community group working with us and partners to create a project which will benefit generations of local residents and encourage visitors to come to our region.

“With COP26 on the horizon, initiatives such as this are vital in encouraging people to choose to get active rather than use their car and contribute to carbon dioxide emissions.

“We are keen to speak to any other community groups in the south of Scotland who have innovative and sustainable ideas to take forward.”

A full planning application for the path has been approved.

The path forms part of a campaign aiming to encourage more active travel in the region.