East Lothian roads: Hundreds sign petition against cutting speed limit on old A1 to allow cycle path

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Hundreds of people have signed a petition fighting plans to reduce the speed limit on the old A1 in East Lothian for a new cycle path.

East Lothian Council’s Labour administration cabinet last month unanimously backed the proposals to introduce a 40mph speed limit on the A199 between Haddington and Dunbar which is currently a national speed limit road.

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Councillors were told the move was necessary to qualify for funding for a new active freeway which will see a cycle/pedestrian pathway created alongside the route.

However it has sparked an outcry from local residents who say it will have a negative impact on businesses and make journey times both in car and on public transport longer.

A petition lodged on Change.Org has more than 500 signatures since it was launched ten days ago. It says: “The A199 is a vital artery for East Lothian, serving as a crucial route for commuting, goods transportation and emergency services.

“It currently has a speed limit of 60mph which is both safe and efficient. However, there have been discussions about reducing this limit. We believe that such an action would not only increase travel times but could also negatively impact local businesses that rely on timely deliveries.”

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The petition adds that research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has found no evidence that reducing speed limits on roads like the A199 leads to fewer accidents or improved safety.

It says: “We urge our local authorities in East Lothian to consider these points carefully before making any changes to the current speed limit on A199. Let’s keep our roads efficient and safe without unnecessary restrictions.”

The council says the active freeway is part of a larger proposal to create a “high-quality commuter cycling and walking link connecting Dunbar-East Linton-Haddington-Gladsmuir-MacmerryTranent-Musselburgh along the route of A199”.

The road is the former A1 and has been used in recent times as an alternative for all traffic when high winds close the current A1 between the two towns.

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Cabinet members approved the initiation of statutory procedures to make Traffic Regulation Orders to implement the 40mph speed limit after being told the current cycle path/walkway would have to be widened onto private land if the speed remained at 60mph.

They were told funds from outside sources were available to cover the cost of the design and introduction of the new pathway but were subject to the reduced speed limit being part of the project.

The petition has been lodged at www.change.org/p/maintain-the-a199-speed-limit-at-60mph



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