Public consultation will shortly launch on draft local transport strategy

A draft local transport strategy, which identifies a range of issues around five main themes, was approved at the full Council meeting on Tuesday 27 February. A full public consultation will shortly be launched during which local residents and businesses can give their views.

Transport is a vital part of everyday life for East Lothian and essential for accessing public services,education, shops and work. Since the last publication of the Local Transport Strategy in 2001 significant changes to the population and infrastructure of East Lothian has occurred or is planned to occur. The updated Local Transport Strategy will reflect these changes and set out how East Lothian Council intends to meet national objectives at a local level and detail actions which will achieve local objectives.

Key transport statistics compiled during preparation of the strategy indicate that bus and train travel to work is higher than the Scottish average whilst walking to work is lower. This reflects East Lothian’s position as an area with high levels of commuters travelling into Edinburgh and more limited local employment.

Car ownership levels are above the national average which reflects the rural nature of much of East Lothian and the resulting car dependency that this creates. Traffic growth has been decreasing over a 10 year period and is below the national average and levels of congestion are also lower whilst the road network condition is in a better state of repair than the Scottish average.

Depute Council Leader, Cllr Norman Hampshire, said:

“The Council has identified five core policies which combine to form the strategy which includes network maintenance, encouraging sustainable travel, active travel and healthy lifestyles, accommodating growth and supporting the economy, and road safety. As the county continues to grow with a number of new housing developments built or planned it’s important to ensure travel options are reviewed to take into account varied needs.

Are residents’ needs different to visitors? How can more people enjoy or be encouraged to walk or cycle in and around East Lothian? What do local businesses need when trying to attract customers? The Local Transport Strategy considers a full range of options and proposals and a full public consultation on the draft strategy will open in March 2018 and I would encourage local residents and businesses to make their views known on this important plan.”

The public consultation will include a series of community-based local workshops and an on-line questionnaire. It’s intended that a consultation report and final draft will then be submitted to the May 2018 full council meeting for approval.

Published: Thursday, 1st March 2018