Tranent and Elphinstone Community Council has written to East Lothian Council to oppose a proposal to close Johnnie Cope’s Road on the grounds that it could increase traffic in the town.

At last month’s meeting of the community council, the closure plan was discussed.

The road, which connects Tranent and Prestonpans over the A1, was originally due to close as a through route when the A1 Tranent bypass opened in 1986, but was to be kept open for walkers and cyclists, but the closure was never made legally effective at the time.

Now the plans have been revived as council officials aim to close the road to all vehicles except emergency vehicles and local access.

Mike Falconer, community council chair, said he had received 24 letters from Tranent residents with their opinions on the proposal after an appeal on Facebook from the community council.

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Mr Falconer said that 23 of the responses were in opposition to closing the road, while only one was in favour of closing it.

He said: “This is not unexpected. You tend to find that people will rarely write letters in approval of a proposal, with most who approve staying silent.

“What we have to consider is whether 23 people being opposed to the proposal is enough for us to put in a letter in opposition to this.

“Personally, I do not feel that 23 people being opposed to it is enough for us to do so.”

When the topic was opened up for discussion, fellow community councillor Robert McNeill said the closure was part of a “wider issue” related to traffic in Tranent.

He said: “My concern is that this is not just an issue of closing Johnnie Cope’s Road.

“[In January] we had major issues at Meadowmill roundabout with delays of over 45 minutes. Public transport had to be redirected and people’s days were severely interrupted.

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“Closing this road is only going to increase traffic in other parts of Tranent and that is a big problem going forward.

“If we close this road, where will the traffic that normally uses it go?”

Mr McNeill, who works as a taxi driver, was particularly concerned about traffic affecting his work and had his concerns shared by other members of the group.

Joan Ramsay, treasurer, said: “We should oppose this proposal on the grounds of concerns about the increased traffic flow in Tranent.

“If there is no clear solution to help make traffic less of a problem in Tranent then we should oppose this.”

The remaining members of the community council agreed with the concerns raised and a proposal was made to oppose the decision by Mr Falconer.

He said: “If this is the opinion of the community council then we have a decision we can now take forward.

“We will write in opposition to the closure on the grounds that it could increase traffic in Tranent and ask for clarification on how this traffic will be managed.”