Pedal Power Progress: Borders College Gears Up for a Cycle-Friendly Campus!

Three people pictured holding a certificate and standing with biking accessories.

Pictured left to right is Rory Hill, Sustainability Project Manager for the Central and South of Scotland College Partnership at EAUC, Oliver Caron-Nowak, Campus Cycle Officer at Borders College, and Robert Hewitt, Director of Estates and Facilities at Borders College.

A project aimed at making cycling more accessible to staff and students at Borders College has been a rolling success.

In 2023, with funding from Transport Scotland, the College implemented a new Campus Cycling Officer role. The aim was to provide facilities on campus to promote cycling and services and improve the confidence of staff and students on two wheels.

The project has seen several improvements to facilities, with plans for further investment on the cards.

Recently, funding obtained through Cycling Scotland saw a total of £9,600 awarded through the Cycling Friendly and Social Housing Development fund. £11,500 was also received from Cycling UK.

The money has helped establish provisions such as a secure, covered bicycle shelter, a public bike repair station, free maintenance courses, and Dr Bike tune-up sessions.

In addition, new e-bikes, a dedicated e-bike battery charging locker, and cycling accessories are now available for use on the Galashiels campus.

Events have also taken place to raise awareness of the benefits of cycling, including the Bike Bus, a led ride from the Galashiels campus to the town centre every Tuesday and Thursday. The recent SEStran GO e-bike event was held to Promote the fun, convenience, usefulness, and environmental advantages of e-bikes to employees.

Person sitting on a bike indoors

The creation of cycling maps showing share-use paths and quiet roads, collaboration with Cycling UK to run events, and discussion with various cycling organisations have further enhanced and promoted cycling in the Scottish Borders.

Such was the success of the overall project that the College was recently awarded ‘Cycling Friendly Status’ by Cycling Scotland.

Chris Walker, Development Officer – Colleges and Universities for Cycling Scotland, commented on the award, saying:

“Borders College has created a lot of great opportunities for students and staff. The Campus Cycling Officer has achieved a massive amount during his placement and the award highlights the fantastic work undertaken. There is now a solid foundation in place for further developments and improvements.”

Director of Estates and Facilities at Borders College, Robert Hewitt, said: 

“Borders College currently has an ambitious Sustainability Strategy that includes an aim of getting 50% of all staff and student journeys being made by public transport, walking, cycling, or other sustainable means of transport by 2025.

“The benefits this project has provided will help us meet these targets. We hope to encourage more cycling, whether that’s building confidence, tackling challenges, or simply starting the idea that cycling is a fun, economical, and healthy way to get around.

“Some great work has gone on since the project started and being awarded ‘Cycling Friendly Status’ by Cycling Scotland is a testament to this.”

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