LESSONS “have been learned” after closures to the A! through East Lothian led to congestion on rural roads.

Resurfacing and other roadworks have been carried out on various sections of the A1 in recent months.

Closures and diversions led to traffic travelling along narrow rural roads leading into villages such as Oldhamstocks and Innerwick.

Councillor Donna Collins, who represents the Dunbar and East Linton ward, had teamed up with Conservative colleague Craig Hoy, South Scotland MSP, to arrange a meeting with various groups about the issue.

The politicians met with representatives from BEAR Scotland, Transport Scotland, East Lothian Council, East Lammermuir Community Council and the emergency services to see what could be done to tackle the problem.

Mrs Collins felt that the meeting had been productive and said: “I fully welcomed the responses from BEAR, East Lothian Council and the emergency services at this meeting.

“It was positive and proactive, with assurances of them working with myself, East Lothian Council and East Lammermuir Community Council on all future planned projects.

East Lothian Courier: Craig Hoy MSP and Councillor Donna Collins are hopeful lessons have been learned regarding closures on the A1

Craig Hoy MSP and Councillor Donna Collins are hopeful lessons have been learned regarding closures on the A1

“The lessons learned from the last closure were brought to the table and openly discussed for forward-going improvement on any further works. It was also reassuring that the police were agreeable to directing HGVs during accidents on the A1 back towards the A68 to prevent rural roads being blocked.”

In relation to the closure, BEAR Scotland pointed to a number of ‘lessons learned’, including the need to minimise the number and duration of future road closures; avoid closing the A1 in both directions where possible; reinforcing ‘unsuitable HGV’ signage and liaising directly with emergency services on any additional local measures in the event of any future closures on the A1.

BEAR Scotland acknowledged that a large volume of vehicles did not follow diversion signs during the closure, including a number of HGVs which held up traffic on unsuitable rural roads.

More than £11 million of investments are planned for the A1 and discussions will take place whenever there are any planned road closures.

Mr Hoy said: “I am pleased to see that BEAR Scotland are open about the very real problems.

“I believe they have started to put in place appropriate mitigations to ensure emergency services have access to Oldhamstocks and Innerwick in the event of any future closures.”

Tommy Deans, BEAR Scotland network manager, added: “We attended a very productive meeting in which we shared detailed analysis of arrangements during recent essential planned maintenance of the A1.”