DECORATIVE railings which hark back to Haddington’s railway past have divided local opinion.

The railings, at an area off the town’s West Road, opposite the junction with Letham Drive, are near the site of the town’s former railway station, which closed in 1968.

Some community figures have heavily praised the design while others would have preferred a “more dignified interpretation” of the town’s railway heritage.

Funding for the £35,000 project came from Avant Homes, which is building 89 new homes at Burnell Park, off the town’s Haldane Avenue.

One man who was impressed with the new railings was Rab Moran, from the town’s community council and Blooming Haddington.

He said: “I think they are fantastic, I absolutely do.

“I know they have divided opinion but, in my opinion, it is money well spent.”

And he added: “It is very original, bespoke, call it what you like, but I certainly think they will be a big help for us when the Keep Scotland Beautiful judges come along there on Thursday [today] during the tour with Blooming Haddington.

“I think they are absolutely great – it is very imaginative and says a lot about the history of the town and the fact there was a railway station there years ago.”

However, the new addition to the busy street attracted a mixed response from members of Haddington and District Amenity Society (HADAS). Andrew Robinson of HADAS said: “There are differing views on the new railings on the West Road.

“Some like the the contemporary twist and historical connection with the former railway and station.

“Others would have preferred a more traditional, dignified interpretation.”

Mr Robinson believed that the railings had been installed without planning permission or conservation area consent and said they had been “assured” in June that a planning application was being prepared.

However, East Lothian Council told the Courier that the site was not within a conservation area and did not require planning permission.

Images of the railings, which are nearly 40 metres in length and about 1.5 metres tall, were on display in the John Gray Centre in Haddington earlier this summer.

East Lothian Council’s art service consulted with local groups, including the town’s community council and Haddington and Lammermuir Area Partnership, about what type of artwork people would like to see.

Haddington and Lammermuir Councillor Tom Trotter said he thought that the railings looked good.

He told the Courier he had driven past them and later returned with his dog to get a better look and he said: “What a transformation!

“I think it is in keeping with the railway theme there and I think they are fantastic.

“I am sure they will be much appreciated by people that walk there on a daily basis.”