Bus users in the Scottish Borders can now take their bikes on board thanks to a £750,000 investment in bike friendly buses. Borders Buses, which operates in the Scottish Borders, Lothian, Berwick and Cumbria, has introduced three brand new vehicles to its X62, Peebles to Edinburgh, route.
The vehicles, Enviro400 double deckers, have been custom designed and built by bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis. Each bus accommodates up to two bike bays with two additional bays being added to each vehicle by the end of May, following positive feedback from customers.
Designed with commuters, local and touring cyclists in mind the bike friendly service is aimed at minimising car journeys by encouraging motorists to ditch the car and use bike and bus as an alternative and greener way to travel.
Lee Young, operations manager at Borders Buses said: “We recognise the way we travel is changing and active travel is increasingly becoming a popular choice with people from all walks of life. As a key transport provider, we are committed to continuously tailoring our product offerings to meet those changes in travel demand.
“It’s important to highlight one bike friendly bus could potentially take up to 76 cars off the road. With congestion in our towns and cities an ongoing issue it makes sense for commuters to ditch the car in favour of bus and bike.
“Our new buses hit the road this week and we cannot wait for our customers, both old and new, to make full use of our bike facility.”
Scottish Borders Council’s Leader, Councillor Shona Haslam, said: “The Scottish Borders is the leading cycling destination in Scotland, from the forests which provides a world-class mountain biking offering to the various cycling routes which allows people to explore our fantastic area.
“Tweeddale in particular has an excellent offering for cyclists of all ages and abilities, including the recent extension of the Tweed Valley multi-use path and opening of the e-Bike Hub in Innerleithen.
“The provision of these brand new bike friendly vehicles by Borders Buses on the main service through Tweeddale will be hugely welcomed by local people and visitors and we hope will see even more people travel here to experience the Scottish Borders.”
Councillor Gordon Edgar, Scottish Border Council’s Executive Member for Roads and Infrastructure, said: “The Council has worked with a variety of partners in recent years to encourage local people to jump on a bike and get active, as well as visitors to come to the Scottish Borders. This is another positive move by our partners Borders Buses which will not only benefit cyclists, but also bus passengers in general who will now have a series of modern facilities on offer on the X62 service.”
Charlie Miller, regional sales manager at Alexander Dennis, said: “We are delighted to see the buses on the road. Developing them has been a real partnership approach between Borders Buses and Alexander Dennis. We have worked together to find this fantastic solution to carrying bikes on buses. Built locally in Scotland, these new Enviro400 buses will be a real boost to active travel in the Borders.”
Other features include free WiFi, comfortable seating and tables, wireless and USB charging points and device friendly seat backs.
The launch of the new vehicles coincides with the introduction of contactless payment across the full Borders Buses network.
To demonstrate how to load bikes on board, Borders Buses enlisted local cyclists Colin Cotter, Peebles, and Steven Cooper, Dalkeith, to create a short video. This is available on bus and online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70XoQ8C4NFs
Image 1: Cyclists left to right – Cameron Cotter, Tom Galbraith, Colin Cotter and Steven Cooper. Front – Lee Young and Cllr Haslam.
Image 2: The Borders Buses team with Alexander Dennis’s Charlie Miller (fourth from the right).