A NEW solution is being weighed up in a bid to ensure a picturesque beach is accessible for everyone.

Plans to allow people with mobility issues, wheelchairs and buggies the chance to get on the sands at Belhaven Bay have been considered for a number of years.

Last month, trial holes were dug to determine the ground conditions to the west of the iconic Bridge to Nowhere.

Currently, to get to the beach, people have to cross the Biel Burn. That leaves the option of wading through the shallow waters or crossing the Bridge to Nowhere – neither of which are suitable for people with mobility issues or buggies.

Pippa Swan, who has been pushing to find a solution at the beach, said the trial holes had proven to be a worthwhile exercise.

She said: “It was interesting but more challenging than we expected.

“We did about six excavation holes and found a mix of gravels and sands, which was to be expected. But the bedrock was quite a long way down, which makes it quite a potentially expensive thing.

“I’m not disappointed. What it has recognised is probably the culvert solution would be more complicated than it has to be.”

Now, an alternative solution is being explored, which could see a crossing created at a new location immediately east of the bridge.

New proposals will be drawn up and the potential crossing, like that originally proposed, will be submerged when the tide is in.

Funding is yet to be found for the project, which has been on the agenda of Dunbar and East Linton Area Partnership for a number of years.

Mrs Swan, who previously chaired the group and is currently chairwoman of Dunbar Community Council, was confident the new solution would not prove too expensive.

She said: “If I was being really optimistic and if we go for a really simple engineering solution, there is no reason why it could not be in place for next summer.

“If we go for an agricultural solution, we are talking about tens of thousands – it might be £20,000 or £30,000 – it is not a quarter of a million pound project.”

As well as funding, any accepted proposals would also need to clear other hurdles, including potentially securing planning permission and obtaining a marine licence.