EAST Lothian Council has been asked why it is carrying out roadworks in Haddington town centre during “the key time of the year”.

Four days of resurfacing works took place from Thursday to Sunday last week, with further work planned for this weekend.

Market Street will be closed entirely, from Newton Port to the junction of Hardgate and Victoria Terrace, from 8am to 5pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

The timing of the roadworks was met with concern and frustration by members of the town’s community council, who met on Tuesday last week.

Community councillor Erica Muirhead, who runs Erica’s Florist on neighbouring High Street, said this is “the key time of year” for many businesses and questioned if the works could not be postponed until the New Year.

East Lothian Courier: Roadworks are now under way on Haddington's Market StreetRoadworks are now under way on Haddington's Market Street

She said: “It is not rocket science. They [the council] know the dates are key to town centre trading.

“Why is it not taken into consideration?”

The issue was discussed after a member of the public had written to the community council, saying they were “extremely concerned about the imminent closure” of the street.

They feared that the unavailability of parking spaces and the closure of the street would lead people to shop at Haddington Retail Park or further afield instead.

Therese Laing, chairwoman of the community council, was also concerned by the timing of the works.

She said: “I thought it was an absolute disgrace that they thought of doing it when traders are wanting to make most of the money. It does them over January and February.

“Why was there not more consultation?”

East Lothian Courier: Roadworks are now under way on Haddington's Market StreetRoadworks are now under way on Haddington's Market Street

Her daughter, Joanna, runs popular gift shop Gibsons of Haddington on Market Street.

The road closure on Sunday also comes on the same day as the town is getting into the festive spirit and its Christmas lights are switched on.

Fellow community councillor Stuart Pe-Win asked if they could contact the roads department at East Lothian Council to outline the best and worst times for any works to be carried out.

East Lothian councillors Tom Trotter, Shamin Akhtar and George McGuire all attended the meeting, which took place in Knox Academy.

Mr Trotter echoed the suggestion that they contact council officers to find out why the work was taking place during such an important time for businesses.

When the scheme was announced earlier this month, a spokesperson for East Lothian Council advised pedestrians not to enter the area during the works.

The existing surface will be sprayed with a black bituminous emulsion which becomes very sticky.

A council spokesperson said of the Market Street disruption: “The council has received many complaints from local neighbouring residents about vibrations from heavy vehicles and potholes.

“Its [the road’s] condition is such that it requires essential maintenance and resurfacing works. Each tender for roadworks is managed to be as cost efficient as possible, which also relies on availability of required resources for the work.

“In this case the dates agreed provided best value for East Lothian Council.

“To minimise disruption, the works will take place initially during an evening.”