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East Lothian has the opportunity to provide a largely off-road route for walking, wheeling and cycling which will provide a faster and more direct connection through the county, from Dunbar through Haddington and Musselburgh and onto Edinburgh. The route, and the spurs off it, will provide a multi-user path network, connecting most of our principal settlements, employment areas, transport hubs and areas of future growth. This network will build upon the existing network, including the National Cycle Network NCN1, NCN196 and the North Sea Cycle Route NCN76.

Our work builds upon a study published in 2016 which identified the opportunity for a segregated link between Dunbar and Musselburgh along the A199 corridor. The Active Freeway will include new sections of high-quality paths, and signage / junction improvements along existing quieter roads. Some junctions will be realigned to allow safer crossing at busy road sections, where necessary. The main routes will be well-designed, well-maintained and segregated away from traffic where possible.

Artist's impression of a typical cross-section of the Cross East Lothian Active Freeway

Artist's impression of a typical cross-section of the Cross East Lothian Active Freeway

East Lothian Council has now commissioned engineering consultants AECOM to develop the detailed design of the first stages of this which is a commuter cycle link from Dunbar to Tranent, which will eventually link into Edinburgh. It's a major piece of work and the ambition is to achieve a 3m wide segregated shared-use (pedestrians and cyclists) on the north side of the A199, but there will be sections where width and other constraints make this impossible.

The current project focuses on the section of the route highlighted in blue on this map. The other phases will be developed as funding opportunities become available.

Image showing Dunbar to Tranent route overview

Dunbar to Tranent route overview

An inital online survey of stakeholders and the public will take place over the next few weeks and will focus on the identification of problems and opportunities along the study corridor related to walking, wheeling, cycling, public transport and placemaking. This feedback will be taken into account by AECOM as they work up proposals which will be presented for further comment in the autumn.There were pop-up events along the study corridor where members of the public and stakeholders shared their thoughts on transport-related problems and opportunities on the study corridor. 

  • Dunbar: Corner of High Street and Silver Street, Thursday 7 September, 12pm to 4pm