CAMPAIGNERS for a cycle path at the centre of one of the longest-running right of way disputes in Scotland have been backed by politicians.

George Kerevan, East Lothian SNP MP, pledged his "unqualified support" this week for the campaign to complete the Drem-Gullane cycle path, which would take cyclists and walkers off a dangerous main road.

But with less than a mile to go campaigners, landowners and East Lothian Council have been unable to agree a route.

The local authority has been accused of failing to do enough to resolve the stalemate but it claims without consensus in the community its powers are limited.

The Herald: SNP MP George KerevanSNP MP George Kerevan

Mr Kerevan, above, said: “The campaign to establish a safe cycle path between Gullane and Drem would benefit the safety and enjoyment of local cyclists and motorists.

"The completion of this path would be an excellent addition to an already extensive network of cycling paths in East Lothian.

"The fact that this specific part of the project is not finished displays a failure of the council to take the initiative and come to a suitable resolution for all stakeholders.”

East Lothian Labour MSP Iain Gray, below, has also backed the campaign and said that "people are not going to give up on this".

He said: "We need to keep working on this and give communities what they want and need."

One landowner has offered an alternative route - one of a number suggested - across his fields but it was claimed to have been too expensive an option.

The council said it has "held numerous discussions with landowners, local householders, East Lothian Local Access Forum and a range of community groups and individuals including the Gullane – Drem campaign group over the past eight years to secure this core path but unfortunately consensus between the various stakeholders has not been reached".

“Options including alternative routes have also been rejected.

“The council remains committed to supporting this proposed route but until consensus can be reached this route cannot be secured.”

The Herald: Labour MSP Iain GrayLabour MSP Iain Gray

Iain Monk, campaign spokesman, pictured below, centre, said the council had already spent £5,000 on preparatory work and earmarked around £30,000 for the path bypassing the route from Gullane to Drem and documentation over any agreement is now being sought.

The Herald: Iain Monk, centreIain Monk, centre