A LONG-standing campaign to connect Gullane and Drem via a safe path for walkers and cyclists is on track.

East Lothian Council is meeting Drem residents and landowners with a view to agreeing a new route between the two locations.

The planned pathway - proposed by a local landowner - runs from Drem Farm eastwards, adjacent to the northern part of the village, then follows the line of the main road (B1345) north to the existing bridge over the Peffer Burn. From there, it travels westwards alongside the burn, connecting to an already-established path which leads to Gullane.

Previously, a more direct route for the path's 1.2km southern section had been mooted following consultation for the council's county-wide Core Paths Plan.

A campaign group has called for a new route linking the two villages for several years over fears that it is unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists - particularly those using Drem Railway Station - to use the main road.

The group is now engaging with the local authority and landowners over the path, and is urging businesses and the community to back it.

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said: "The council is shortly to hold a meeting with the residents of Drem and to talk to the landowners/land managers/tenants to the north of the Peffer Burn.

"It is hoped to agree with all landowners the detailed path specifications for the entire route between the two villages and a report would then be submitted to the elected members seeking approval to go out to tender, appoint a contractor and construct the path." Iain Monk, spokesman for the path campaign, said: "This is a really positive development and we welcome this offer from the landowner.

"Whilst it wouldn't be our first choice it does provide a potential solution to meet the community's needs. A primary concern for us is that the route is safe for all potential users, including families, walkers, cyclists and joggers, and acceptable to all involved landowners.

"There has been eight years of talk about a safe route between Gullane and Drem for families, walkers and cyclists. Now it's time for action.We look forward to hearing details of what is being proposed and once agreement is reached with the landowner, for the council to start work on the ground as soon as possible." For more information on the campaign, email dgcorepath@gmail.com or follow the group on Twitter: @dgcorepath