I AM SURE you have had further correspondence from the public regarding the Hopes Estate parking issue.

You will no doubt be aware that the parking is only open four days a week between 9am and 6pm, that permits are only available from Hoggs Newsagent in Gifford, and that the estate has blocked all verges with rocks and posts on what is a public road.

I tried to get a permit, to be informed that the newsagent had only been issued with 12 permits for the month and that they had all been issued on the first day.

There is therefore tantamount to zero public access to the car park.

It seems ridiculous that over £50,000 of public money has been used to resurface the public road to Hopes, which has now become de facto private as Mr Douglas-Miller frequently turns back drivers using the Hopes Road.

Although he states he is delighted to have walkers on the estate, unfortunately he has not considered the young, old or infirm who have to walk at least 4km further to get there.

One person who parked down at Hopes had their tyres let down.

I also see the estate has removed its Hopes Estate Facebook page, as most of the comments were from the public complaining about access being blocked, so it is now not possible to question the estate directly.

Some people seem to think that as it is a private estate, the owners can do what they want; they are missing the point that it is a public road, repairable and resurfaced at public expense, and that parking on public road verges is not illegal unless causing an obstruction.

Name and address supplied

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council replied: “The Hopes car park is a privately owned and maintained car park, so access and number of spaces available are for the owner to consider. During the lockdown periods, the number of visitors accessing countryside sites across East Lothian has risen considerably and unfortunately on occasions visitors have parked in areas which have caused obstructions and disruption to others. The council will investigate the allegations of ‘blocking’ near the Hopes access.”