AN EXCITING new 250 mile on-road cycle route covering the length of the South of Scotland has received the green light to progress to delivery stage.

The Coast to Coast route will run from Stranraer to Eyemouth, making it one of the longest in the UK and a new challenge for experienced cyclists.

Walking and cycling routes can deliver significant economic, environmental and community benefits, and early projections are that the new South of Scotland Coast to Coast route could attract up to 175,000 new visitors to the region, with a direct spend of £13.7million per year.

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The project is aiming to be delivered in time for the 2023 UCI World Championships in Glasgow and across Scotland.

Three of the 13 Championships are taking place in the South of Scotland in August next year, allowing visitors to the South to try the new route during or after the Championships.

Border Telegraph: Coast to Coast map Photo SBC

Riders who want to test themselves can tackle the Coast to Coast Challenge route over four days but are highly recommended to slow down, immerse themselves and enjoy more of what the South of Scotland has to offer by completing the Explorer route over eight days or more.

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Works are currently ongoing on designing the delivery stage, but partners will be engaging with local communities, businesses and stakeholders in the coming months to raise awareness of upcoming opportunities and gather opinions on how best to maximise the impact from this new tourism offering.

The Coast to Coast announcement follows the launch of the first ever South of Scotland Cycling Partnership Strategy in September, which aims to ensure cycling becomes the most popular choice for shorter, everyday journeys by 2032.

The Strategy also has a vision for the region to be recognised as Scotland’s leading cycling destination and a world-class cycling destination of excellence.

Councillor Scott Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Community and Business Development, said: “The development of this route could deliver very significant benefits to communities all the way from Eyemouth to Stranraer and we continue to work closely with the partners involved to bring it to fruition.

“It is through initiatives such as this that we can really build upon the region’s cycling heritage and already significant reputation for cycling and truly make the South of Scotland the ‘Home of the Bike’.”