A ROAD bridge which has been used to ease congestion during major events in a town centre is being used as a private “train set” by owners ScottishPower, a local councillor has claimed.

The Electric Bridge in Musselburgh was built to carry traffic involved in the construction of Cockenzie Power Station in the 1960s and regularly opened on racedays in the town as traffic flooded in.

However, ScottishPower announced last week that it would be closed from January 2, with no plans to re-open in the future.

The company has been in discussions with East Lothian Council, which has already bought the majority of the former power station land, over the future ownership of the bridge.

Those discussions seem to have hit the buffers after Musselburgh councillor Andrew Forrest told a meeting this week the future use of the bridge was “out of everybody’s hands”.

Reacting to calls from Musselburgh Racecourse general manager Bill Farnsworth for the council to take responsibility for the bridge, Mr Forrest told a meeting of Musselburgh Racing Associated Committe (MRAC) it was not down to them.

He said: “It is their [ScottishPower] train set and they will play with it however they want to play with it.”

The Electric Bridge traditionally opened on race days at Musselburgh Racecourse to help with traffic through the busy town centre.

When the power station closed in 2013, the bridge, which spans the River Esk, was closed but an agreement was met with the racecourse, East Lothian Council and ScottishPower to open it for major events.

At the MRAC meeting, racecourse general manager Bill Farnsworth said it was used until last year by the Musselburgh Riding of the Marches and was used by the Edinburgh Marathon as well as the racecourse.

He described the decision by ScottishPower to close it as “disappointing” and said he had been told that “ScottishPower do not need it and East Lothian Council do not want it”.

Mr Farnsworth urged the local authority to try again to take ownership of the bridge, adding: “We are told the bridge is absolutely sound and in good order. It is a perfectly good bridge that is being closed and we are urging councillors and the council to try and reach an agreement with ScottishPower.”

Howeve,r Mr Farnsworth was told that there was no reason why the racecourse itself could not approach ScottishPower to reach a separate agreement regarding opening the bridge in the future.