A BRIDGE could be built to replace a level crossing over the East Coast Mainline near East Linton.

Consideration is being given to alter the level crossing at Markle, to the north-west of the proposed new railway station at East Linton.

Currently, Markle level crossing is protected by traffic light signals and half barriers on the road.

However, East Lothian Council is examining what could be done to improve safety at the site, with the number of vehicles using the road expected to increase with the development of the railway station.

Two options are being explored: replacing the half-barrier level crossing to full barriers; or closing the level crossing and replacing it with a bridge.

A council spokeswoman said: “Transport Scotland and Network Rail are building a new station at East Linton, which is expected to open in December 2022.

“The close proximity of Markle Level Crossing to the new station means that the level crossing is no longer viable in its current format due to the increased safety risk arising from the variation in time that will occur between the barriers closing and the arrival of stopping and non-stopping trains.

“There is an increased risk of road users becoming impatient with the longer arrival time of trains which stop at the new station, weaving round the open gap in the opposite carriageway and being struck by a train.”

The council is working alongside Transport Scotland and Network Rail to look at the two options, with the new bridge being preferred.

It is currently unknown how much a bridge would cost, with funding expected to come through the Scottish Government and Network Rail.

The council spokeswoman noted that the frequency of trains passing through Markle meant that the cumulative time the barriers would be closed each hour “could be considered unacceptably long for the local community and road users”.

Meanwhile, “the most effective way of reducing level crossing safety risk is to eliminate it completely”, which would result in the closure of the crossing and the creation of a bridge.

The Markle level crossing is one of only two level crossings open to the public in the county, with the other being to the west of Longniddry.