Further consultation to be held on Elcho Green proposal
Environment spokesperson, Cllr. Norman Hampshire, has advised: “East Lothian Council has successfully implemented a number of physical distancing measures on North Berwick High Street to support the need for safe access to the town centre and economic recovery. A further support for Spaces for People, separately funded by council budget, is a proposal to utilise a small part of Elcho Green in North Berwick as a temporary car park. The recovery from COVID19 pandemic is at a fragile point and there is a significant risk of further infection spikes and a second wave; it is therefore essential that we use the Spaces for People grant to enhance the safety and protect our communities.
"Elcho Green provides a temporary car park solution that replaces the loss of spaces on the High Street and augments through the provision of a maximum of 80 spaces. The benefit of this would have been a reduction in the number of vehicles circling and queuing for parking spaces, enhanced safety for pedestrians and cyclists within the town centre and improved air quality. Equally, we are aware of the risk from visitors of displacement of parking throughout North Berwick and as a local authority, we have limited power to manage such risk. For these reasons Elcho Green could provide a temporary solution benefitting both local residents and visitors.”
“East Lothian Council is a listening authority and we are aware of the various perspectives being raised within the North Berwick community. As such we intend to place the Elcho Green temporary car parking proposal on hold to allow us a further opportunity to engage and consult. This delay will also enable us to monitor the impact of increased traffic as a result of visitors and to assess the effectiveness of measures introduced.
"We have seen in recent weeks, with the gradual easing of restrictions, large numbers of visitors coming to the East Lothian coast, towns and villages. North Berwick offers a unique environment and it’s a fine balancing act accommodating the varied needs of visitors, residents and businesses with necessary public health measures at this time and we’ll continue to engage with key stakeholders regarding Spaces for People.”