The town of Dunbar has grown significantly in recent years with the addition of 600 new houses to the south of the railway line resulting in a proportional increase in population, mainly of young families. Other recent development includes a large superstore on the outskirts of town and a new primary school campus with 500 houses due to be constructed in the near future.
The resulting traffic has caused problems in the town; concerns have been expressed particularly about traffic speeds, crossing facilities, inadequate pavement widths, sub-standard pavement surfacing and the lack of cycle paths. Living Streets Scotland conducted a community street audit in response to the concerns. Although the audit was limited to the major routes to and from the Primary School, it concluded that there had been a general neglect of the walking environment over many decades and it highlighted a number of areas which should be addressed such as improving routes for walking and cycling from the areas of new housing to the south of the town. This was considered of vital importance for social inclusion and to encourage less dependence on the car.
East Lothian Council, as the local authority, has acknowledged that there are problems and commissioned a firm of transport planning consultants to prepare a traffic management and environmental impact study into the transport problems in the town. The final report was published in 2007 recommending a number of improvements; however further work has been limited due to budgetary constraints. Meanwhile the community is still putting up with inadequate facilities for sustainable modes of transport. This is leading to many short trips being made by car, including journeys to work, the shops and school. The train station is at the heart of this small town, yet many people drive there due to the awkwardness of the approach for pedestrians and cyclists. The immediate and increasing pressures of development in the town requires action to ensure that the opportunity to shape a carbon friendly transport network for the future is not lost.
Sustaining Dunbar’s Transport sub-group was set up in 2008 to concentrate on reducing emissions from travel by encouraging people to walk, cycle, or use public transport. The Group prepared a Transport Action Plan outlining its aspirations, and used this as the basis for a successful funding application for the Connecting Dunbar Project.
The Project is now complete, and this website forms the Final Report. All supporting documents and publications produced over the year can be found in the Annexes.