A COMMUNITY councillor has hit out at the lack of consultation with the community on major events held in East Lothian which cause traffic disruption in Musselburgh.

Speaking at a meeting of Musselburgh and Inveresk Community Council last week, Ruth Currie said that the issue had got worse over the years with not just the Edinburgh Marathon taking place but other events such as the Scottish Half Marathon and Ironman affecting the Honest Toun.

“It’s Musselburgh that suffers every time because we’re the corridor into the rest of the county,” she said.

She claimed that TV coverage she watched of the recent Tour of Britain cycle race, which passed through the county, missed out the majority of Musselburgh.

Mrs Currie said: “We put up with all the disruption of that and got nothing from it.”

She said that the argument put forward by East Lothian Council was about spend in the area but added that during the recent half marathon, as far as she could see people were finishing at Musselburgh Racecourse and walking up the street to get a bus.

“The odd person had an ice cream but that was it,” she added.

“So there was no gain for us, only buses being diverted and people not being able to park outside their own door. Millhill Lane was coned off.”

Fellow community councillor Betty Ramsden said she encountered queues of traffic, adding: “I had to turn from the foot of Stoneybank, go way up the bypass to get right round to Newbigging to the church that day.”

Mrs Currie said: “You don’t mind it once but it is getting more and more.

“There is no consultation in any great form with us to say [if we are] satisfied. I know people in Longniddry are getting more and more aggravated by it because they are the other end of it all.”

She said that when she had raised the issue previously she was told major events were allowed to come to the county for the economic benefit they brought.

Ward councillor Stuart Currie, husband of Mrs Currie, said: “At certain times of the year you can have five or six events. You don’t pay a lump of cash to the council, you pay x amount of pounds for a road being closed off and it’s quite small.

“The companies tend to hire in their own companies and they come and put down cones and all the fences.”

He said the Edinburgh Marathon raised a huge amount for charities but added: “When there are more and more events I think that’s what the problem is.”

Mrs Currie said this could also cause “animosity” when local events took place because motorists might be held up in traffic due to road closures. “The stuff we do here in Musselburgh for the good of the people of Musselburgh and to raise awareness of various things; there’s an animosity builds up about that which is unfortunate because of all the other things that go on as well,” she said.

Mr Currie agreed to ask the council what the process was for approval of big events.

Irene Tait, community council chairwoman, said the group should draw up a list of the events which came through Musselburgh.

She added: “When we did broach the subject of the marathon at the time on several occasions we were told in no uncertain terms that it could not be marketed under ‘East Lothian’, it had to be under ‘Edinburgh’.

“I think eventually they did add a bit about East Lothian.”