Two further public drop-in sessions are to be held as plans to enhance parking provision in Haddington town centre continue to be developed through consultation.

East Lothian Council is proposing to increase the overall number of short and long stay car parking spaces in and around the town centre, supporting ambitions to improve the local environment and support the economy.

To enable this, some existing long stay car parking in the town centre would be re-designated for short stay use. This will improve parking options for shoppers and visitors.

This would include the potential re-designation of the existing ‘Tesco long stay’ car park for short stay use. The status of the car park at John Muir House, East Lothian Council’s head office, will be reviewed to consider the potential for an area to be available for wider public use.

New long stay car parking – accommodating commuters who require to be parked in the town for the duration of the working day – would be provided through the creation of edge of centre transport hub at Whittingehame Drive, to the east of the town centre.

This new facility would provide up to 240 long stay parking spaces within a 10-minute walk of the town centre. It would also incorporate options for ‘park and ride’, ‘park and stride’, electric vehicle fast chargers, cycle parking and cycle hire.

All local residents and businesses – as well as visitors to the town centre and workers those from other areas – are invited to attend the events.

Event details

Dates: Tuesday, 25 February and Wednesday, 26 February

Times: 2pm to 7.30pm each day

Location: Haddington Town House, 57 High Street, EH41 3ED

The events will be an opportunity to find out more about and discuss proposals to enhance parking provision and accessibility in Haddington town centre. There will be an exhibition of the transport hub site selection process and officers will be available to discuss issues and record comments on the proposals and the wider issues regarding access to the town.

The events follow a previous, well-attended session in December, which provided the council and its consultants with invaluable feedback which is being used to inform development of the proposals.

Demand for parking

Tom Reid, Head of Infrastructure, said:

“We’re very grateful to everyone who attended our drop-in session in December.

“It underlines that Haddington town centre is a fantastic place in which to live, work and visit. With many people entering the town centre for a variety of purposes throughout the week, demand for parking space frequently outstrips supply.

“For many years, we’ve been keen to enhance the town centre so that it offers the best possible environment for all users – including people with restricted mobility pedestrians and cyclists – to ensure easy access to the local services and businesses on which Haddington depends.

“As well as improved options for active travel and public transport, we recognise there is a need to create more parking spaces in and around the town centre.

“For this to happen, we need to change some existing parking from long stay to short stay, and deliver a new long stay parking option for drivers who need to leave their vehicle in the town throughout the working day.

“One proposal is the potential re-designation of the existing ‘Tesco long stay’ car park, which could free up an additional 225 spaces in the town centre for short stay, public parking.

“We will also review the status of the car park at John Muir House, East Lothian Council’s head office, to consider the potential for an area here to be available for wider public use.

“To continue providing dedicated, long-stay parking, we’ve been developing proposals to create a new edge-of-centre transport hub. This would be linked to greater provision for sustainable and active travel choices, in support of our ambitions to reduce emissions.  Option evaluation work has identified Whittingehame Drive as the most appropriate location.

“Separately, the council has been looking at proposals to enhance the street scape and public realm of the town centre, for the benefit of all users of the town centre – including those on foot or travelling by bike.”

Background

Last summer, East Lothian Council secured funding from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund. The creation of the new facilities at Whittingehame Drive was one of two projects which the council chose to take forward, with the funds requiring to be spent by September 2020.

It is anticipated that, subject to finalisation of the formal proposals, a planning application will be submitted. This is expected to be determined by the council’s planning committee in due course.

Published: Tuesday, 4th February 2020