More than 100 car parking spaces will continue to be available in Haddington's High Street and Market Street whilst temporary measure are in place to increase pavement space for physical distancing.

East Lothian Council is committed to working with local businesses and the community in the interests of public safety, as we continue our work to respond to the challenges of COVID-19.

Temporary measures are being implemented because the council wants to promote the town centre as a safe and welcoming environment, encouraging local residents to support local businesses and help stimulate economic recovery. Pedestrian safety is of paramount importance – particularly at a time when physical distancing is vital in continuing to suppress COVID-19.

The council has successfully secured funding to introduce a series of temporary changes to streets around the county to improve health and wellbeing so that everyone is able to move around their local area safely and support local businesses as we transition through and out of the Covid-19.

After announcing its intention to implement changes last week, the council is in the process of engaging with local businesses including retailers to provide further information on its plans.

The vast majority of car parking spaces in Haddington town centre will continue to be available for use, with additional spaces currently available at John Muir House while many council staff continue to work remotely.

Haddington High Street

⦁    On parts of Haddington High Street, narrow walkways will be widened to provide more space for people accessing properties and businesses on foot, as well as for people waiting for buses and accommodating those with mobility challenges. This will make it easier and safer for physical distancing at busy times and help when queuing outside shops. 

⦁    On the north side of High Street (between Broad Wynd and towards the old George Hotel), where the road is wide, we are proposing to move all parking spaces out into the carriageway. This will retain 34 parking spaces whilst widening the pavement area. 

⦁    Between Broad Wynd and the Town House, parallel parking will be retained for six cars. A widened pavement will accommodate a request from a business for outdoor seating. 

⦁    On the south side of the High Street, the pavement will be temporarily widened at both the eastern and western ends. Parking for 19 cars will be retained (including spaces for disabled users).

Market Street

⦁    On Market Street, the pavement will be temporarily widened. Parking for around 50 cars will be retained (between the Town House and Brown Street; including spaces for disabled users).

Other temporary changes

Other temporary measures in Haddington include:

⦁    Tynebank Road will be temporarily closed to through traffic. 

⦁    Parking on Hospital Road from West Road to the hospital entrance will be replaced with a cycle lane.

All changes are temporary and will be kept under review.

Engagement

The introduction of these temporary measures follows our recent consultation in which we received nearly 3,000 contributions with over 750 detailed comments in relation to temporary changes across East Lothian.

As mentioned above, after announcing its intention to implement changes last week, the council is in the process of engaging with local businesses including retailers on its plans.

Implementing the changes is likely to mean that some spaces will need to be temporarily suspended for a matter of hours. This will be done in a phased manner, meaning the majority of spaces will continue to be available at any given time.

This has required the issuing of a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO). A TTRO is the legal mechanism required to introduce any changes or restrictions to the public road/footways. We put the signs and the order up first in advance of any changes to give people notice and to allow the interventions to be introduced. While the TTRO says suspension of parking in reality the action we are taking is largely about re-configuring existing parking spaces temporarily to accommodate more pavement space.

Protecting public health and supporting businesses

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Spaces for People is a new initiative funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Sustrans Scotland enabling local authorities to introduce temporary measures to provide more space for people to access businesses in our town centres and to exercise whilst observing current physical distancing health guidelines.

"We would like to clarify that the vast majority of parking spaces will continue to be available in Haddington town centre. Pedestrian safety is of paramount importance – particularly at a time when physical distancing is vital. The temporary measures are focused on protecting public health, supporting social distancing and preventing a second wave of the outbreak. We also want to help give people increased confidence when moving around our communities and encourage residents and visitors to support local businesses, which East Lothian’s economic recovery depends on.

 “The national and local response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been a fast-changing situation and has required organisations such as East Lothian Council to respond swiftly.
 
“These temporary measures will remain under review."
 

Published: Monday, 6th July 2020