RELOCATED bus stops and a bus lane are now operational on Musselburgh High Street as part of a £36,000 project to ease congestion and reduce journey times.

The existing bus stop outside the police station, for local westbound buses, has a ‘Keep Clear’ road marking and a new bus lane on the approach to the stop, potentially operating Monday-Friday, 7am-6pm.

A new bus stop has been created westbound at Costa for buses to Edinburgh.

Eastbound, the existing bus stop outside Musselburgh Citizens Advice Bureau is for coastal destinations, while a new stop at BrightHouse is for ‘inland’ buses to destinations such as Wallyford, Tranent and Haddington.

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said that the work had been completed except for the erection of the bus shelters, which are not currently in stock and will be installed towards the end of May.

She added: “Lothian Buses will have staff available on site to assist passengers with the changes.”

The new measures, funded by the Scottish Government, are temporary for an 18-month period, and traffic flow, including the times of bus journeys, will be monitored to assess the impact of the changes.

The proposals are fully supported by the bus companies and it is hoped the reduced congestion will provide greater reliability of services.

The council spokeswoman previously explained that congestion could happen on Musselburgh High Street when one bus had to wait in the carriageway while another was taking on passengers.

Relocation and two additional bus stops aim to increase options for passengers, and a bus lane will deter double-parking on the approach to the police station bus stop, leaving sufficient room for vehicles to pass stationary buses.

About 12 parking spaces needed to be removed and the Blue Badge parking space relocated across the road, but the existing taxi rank was unaffected by the changes.

The total cost of the project, including detailed design and construction, is £36,000, which comes from Transport Scotland via Bus Priority Rapid Deployment Fund.

Ward councillor John Williamson said: “The test will be as lockdown eases and buses become busier, and therefore take longer to load and unload passengers at the bus stops.

“As the measures are temporary, I would hope that it will be possible to tweak the measures in the light of experience.”