East Lothian’s latest pop-up cycles on

Thursday July 23rd 2020

Elcho Green North Berwick

Plans for a temporary car-park on Elcho Green, North Berwick, have been met with opposition from locals.


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A pop-up cycle lane between two coastal towns is being introduced as East Lothian Council reveals the latest stage in its work to improve social distancing in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The local authority received £1.4million from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund to introduce measures to make it easier to social distance in town centres and improve cycle and pedestrian paths.

And it has revealed that the next phase of work will involve establishing a temporary cycle lane between Prestonpans and Cockenzie, along the main road.

It will also see the speed limit on the road, which is normally 40mph, reduced to 30mph and speed limits in the two communities reduced to just 20mph.

The council has already received two strikes over its ambitious plans to transform its town centres this month, with u-turns made twice on projects.

At the start of July it unveiled its plans, which included introducing parking suspensions across town centres as it looked to create more space outside shops and relocate parking away from high streets.

In Haddington town centre there was a furious response after cones and parking suspension notices went up over the first weekend of the changes, leaving traders and their customers fuming.

Shop owners who had only just opened their doors feared the restrictions would stop costumers from coming to the market town and within days the council announced it was putting parking suspensions in all town centres on hold.

Then last week, it announced plans to transform tourist hotspot North Berwick’s town centre and create a temporary 80-space car park on its iconic Elcho Green – a much-loved public space and putting green.

The response from the community, including Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew, who voiced concern at losing green space like the Green, saw those plans also shelved as the local authority insisted it was a “listening council” and would carry out further consultation.

The latest plan for a three-metre-wide cycle lane between Prestonpans and Cockenzie will see dozens of painted stones created by local schoolchildren, which line the footpath, moved; however, the council said it has agreed with the local community council for them to be collected and relocated across he road.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, environment spokesperson, said: “We received many comments in the public consultation around Spaces for People on the need to provide suitable space for people cycling.

“Many people are currently cycling this route and we need to cater for the current increase in cyclists during the Covid-19 pandemic period.”

“In common with other Spaces for People measures, this route is for temporary use as we gradually move out of restrictions and will also provide a viable alternative to the use of the private car and/or public transport for shorter-distanced essential or leisure trips in the area.”

The works will also include the introduction of temporary crossings of Edinburgh Road at either end of the route through the use of ‘buildouts’ and bolt-down bollards.

Mr Hampshire added: “We were aware of a collection of painted stones that have been carefully laid by local schoolchildren alongside the existing footway along Edinburgh Road and recognise that these are important to the local community.

“The community council has arranged for these to be carefully collected prior to the start of the works and have been relocated on the other side of the road.”

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