CYCLISTS are getting their own dedicated space so they can travel between Prestonpans and Cockenzie safely.

While 20mph speed limits are being introduced in Prestonpans and Cockenzie and Port Seton.

As part of the Spaces for People initiative to provide additional space for physical distancing to protect public health, work has started on a temporary cycle route between Prestonpans and Cockenzie and Port Seton which will run parallel to the main B1348 Edinburgh Road.

The three-metre wide path will be created by laying hard surfacing down on the grass verge on the north side of the carriageway between the two communities.

The path will run alongside the footpath between the boatyard access at Prestonpans to just past the old power station with a white line separating the cyclepath and walkway.

This is the council’s latest project to improve  social distancing in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The local authority received £1.4million from the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund to introduce various countywide measures to make it easier to social distance in town centres and improve cycle and pedestrian paths.

As well as the roadside cycle route, the speed limit on Edinburgh Road, which is normally 40mph, will be reduced to 30mph and speed limits in the two communities reduced to just 20mph.

The plan for the cycle path has seen dozens of painted stones created by local schoolchildren, which line the footpath, move across to the other side of the road. 

The stones are a symbol of hope and unity during the Covid-19 crisis, and many similar displays have been created throughout East Lothian and the whole country.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, environment spokesperson at East Lothian Council, said: “We received many comments in the public consultation around Spaces for People on the need to provide suitable space for people cycling. 

“Many people are currently cycling this route and we need to cater for the current increase in cyclists during the  pandemic period.”

“In common with other Spaces for People measures, this route is for temporary use as we gradually move out of restrictions and will also provide a viable alternative to the use of the private car and/or public transport for shorter-distanced essential or leisure trips in the area.”

The works also include the introduction of temporary crossings of Edinburgh Road at either end of the route through the use of ‘buildouts’ and bolt-down bollards.

In addition, the proposals also include traffic calming measures on Edinburgh Road to slow down traffic with a temporary reduction in the speed limit to 30mph between the two communities, in tandem with the introduction of 20mph limits within the communities themselves.

Mr Hampshire added: “We were aware of a collection of painted stones that have been carefully laid by local schoolchildren alongside the existing footway along Edinburgh Road and recognise that these are important to the local community. 

“The community council arranged for these to be carefully collected prior to the start of the works and they have been relocated on the other side of the road.”