A report was presented to Tuesday’s meeting of East Lothian Council regarding a proposal to redetermine the Johnnie Cope Road between Prestonpans and Tranent as an active travel route.

Elected members were asked to approve the statutory procedures necessary to make a Traffic Regulation Order to prohibit and permit various types of vehicular traffic.

The road was originally to have been closed as a through route when the A1 Tranent bypass opened in 1986, but kept open for farm access, walkers, cyclists and equine. To this end, a bridge was provided where it crosses the A1 and 'no through road except cycles' signs were sited at both the Tranent and Prestonpans ends and a gate installed. The single lane bridge, which is the responsibility of Transport Scotland, was designed as an accommodation bridge and its intended use was for occasional farm access, large stock movements between fields, equine and pedestrian use.

The road was never intended to take the volume and type of traffic currently using it with challenges associated with re-engineering the road. The proposal was brought forward on the grounds of road safety with a recommendation to close it to vehicular traffic and redetermine as an active and sustainable access route for walkers, cyclists and equine with their safety assured. The proposal allowed for emergency services access, farmer access and access for any residents whilst aligning with national and local policy on active travel.

An amendment was tabled by elected members which noted the summary of responses to the consultation process. It also noted the concerns of officers with the design of the road layout and the width of the carriageway for the current volume of road users.

However, the amendment requested that officers stop the statutory process, allowing the road to remain open to vehicle traffic. This is the result of consideration of public objections and community use of the road for over 30 years.

The amendment recommended that officers review intervention options to develop the design, specification and cost and report back to a future meeting of the council so that members can consider as part of a future budget. The leader of the Council also undertook an action to write to the Scottish Government to request funding.  The amendment also called on the council to consider improvements to active travel routes between Prestonpans and Tranent.

The amendment was approved by a majority vote of elected members and therefore the statutory process to redetermine the road will not proceed.

Published: Tuesday, 27th June 2023