PEOPLE are being given the chance to have their say on a transport plan which includes charging for parking in East Lothian’s town centres.

The draft Local Transport Strategy, drawn up by East Lothian Council, is open for public consultation and a series of workshops where people can make their views heard are being held from Tuesday.

An online questionnaire has also been launched, with plans to then bring a final report and proposal to the council for approval.

The controversial strategy was initially blocked by opposition councillors after the Conservative and SNP groups said they could not support a policy which included town centre parking charges, in opposition to both groups’ election pledges.

However, the Parking Management Strategy (PMS) rejected by councillors was then approved to go out to public consultation at the start of last month after changes were made to some of the proposals.

Among the alterations was the decision to drop proposals to charge £40 a year for a residents’ parking permit and amendments to proposals to review on-street and off-street parking charges and coastal car parks charges to allow for more debate.

The new questionnaire includes 16 questions, none of which ask people if they agree or disagree with town centre charging.

Instead, one of the questions asks whether people agree that the local authority “review and keep under review the introduction of charging for off-street car parks and/or for on-street parking places”.

The transport strategy is broken into four areas: the PMS, an Active Travel Improvement Plan, Road Asset Management Plan, and Road Safety Plan.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, cabinet member for environment, said: “This public consultation will provide individuals and businesses with opportunities to highlight both current concerns and future aspirations around the theme of transport.

“We are keen to hear from as many people as possible, whether they use private car, public transport, cycle or walk.”

The workshops, which are all being held between 7pm and 9pm, are at: Ross High School assembly hall, Tranent, Tuesday, April 17; Haddington Town House, Wednesday, Apri l8; Hope Rooms, North Berwick, Thursday, April 19; Dunbar British Legion, Tuesday, April 24; Prestonpans Town Hall, Wednesday, April 25; and Esk Rooms, Brunton Hall, Musselburgh, Thursday, April 26.

Anyone who wants to attend is asked to email or call 01620 827713 or 01620 827605

The online questionnaire can be found at