A NEW long-stay car park suggested for a site in North Berwick will not be built this year as it is not feasible, East Lothian Council has said.

Earlier this year, ideas to help tackle North Berwick’s parking problems were shared at a meeting of North Berwick Community Council (NBCC).

But one of the suggestions, to create a temporary long-stay car park with space for 120 vehicles – on land off Haddington Road, south-west of Law Primary School and next to the Cala Homes Law Gardens development, which is owned and was offered as an option by North Berwick Trust – will not be going ahead this year.

East Lothian Council (ELC) said this was due to cost restraints to cover the amount of work needed.

Tom Reid, head of infrastructure at the council, said: “The council has been in regular discussions with a range of stakeholders in North Berwick to identify possible solutions to parking concerns.

“The proposal put forward for a temporary long-stay ‘park and stride’ car park at Haddington Road was fully investigated but was predicated on being delivered through an external grant opportunity.

“The change of use at this site would require planning permission and the timescale for submitting plans, obtaining permission, seeking funding and procuring and then awarding the tender for required works means that it would not be possible to deliver an operational site within the grant timeline that exists.

“This site may still be used as an option in the longer term and discussions will continue with appropriate consultative bodies within the town.”

Judy Lockhart-Hunter, NBCC chair, said that she was “interested” to hear the news.

She added: “It is difficult to find an ideal place for a car park in North Berwick and, although we did receive concerns from some residents of Pilgrim’s Way, the proposals did not cause anything like the storm around last year’s proposed temporary car park on Elcho Green.

“We are due to have another bumper summer with a huge influx of visitors, following continued Covid restrictions and a rise in popularity for staycations.

“With this in mind, it is hard to imagine that any car park will be big enough and NBCC struggle to see a solution that will suit everyone.

“We would encourage visitors to take the train in or to park a bit further out from the town centre and walk the final stretch but realise it is not always easy to do.

“It is good to see that ELC have been proactive this year in the parking plans that they have secured and they have really made an effort to engage with us, which is appreciated.

“We hope that the various restrictions on the existing car parks and the increased number of traffic wardens will go some way towards helping the situation but ultimately, when The Times is telling the world that we are the best place to live in Scotland, keeping up with demand is always going to be a struggle.”