One of the longest-running land disputes of its kind in Scotland - for a safe cycle path on an East Lothian stretch of road - is on the verge of resolution after a 13 year campaign.

Read more: Long-running East Lothian cycle path campaign gets boost from Westminster and Holyrood

A four mile bike-friendly link connecting two East Lothian villages is "within touching distance", according to campaigners.

Community activists have fought for 13 years for a safe route between Gullane and Drem that separates cyclists and walkers from a dangerous main road.


Above: Campaigner Iain Monk with daughter Freya, 10. Picture: Gordon Terris

A landowner has now offered land to complete the final mile-long section to Drem and East Lothian Council has hired consultants to prepare a feasibility and design study.

Campaigners, house building giant CALA Homes, the council and the partners of West Fenton Farm are discussing options for the remaining three miles to Gullane, which may include reduced speed limits, traffic calming measures and an off-road path.

The dispute is said to be one of the longest-running modern right of way battles in Scotland, but the Herald understands a meeting on Tuesday hosted by the council and involving "all stakeholders" could be the turning point in the path campaign.

Read more: Long-running East Lothian cycle path campaign gets boost from Westminster and Holyrood

Iain Monk, campaign spokesman, said: “We are within touching distance of securing a safe link connecting Gullane and Drem.

"This will be a fantastic asset for East Lothian and we have overwhelming support throughout the community.

“Safety is the key concern for families and commuters.

"To allay those fears, it is vital to have walking and cycling infrastructure suitable for people of all ages and abilities.

“We are encouraged by the goodwill that exists from everyone.

"A landowner and CALA Homes are on board and the partners at West Fenton Farm and our councillors are very supportive."


Above: The campaigners have mobilised support from across Scotland. Picture: Gordon Terris

Peter Hawkins, of Spokes Lothian Cycle Campaign said: “Spokes congratulates the long-running campaign for a safe cycle and pedestrian route to link Drem and its railway station to the large settlement of Gullane, to benefit both local residents and visitors.

"The latest progress is very welcome after a long, hard fight.

“At present the only routes linking Drem and Gullane involve the busy, fast and narrow B1345, but this new link would open up a range of options and circular routes.

"The involvement of house-builders to create links in Gullane is also very welcome.

"We understand they are working closely with local cyclists and we hope this will ensure that the routes are as useful as possible and their specifications are of a high standard."

Read more: Long-running East Lothian cycle path campaign gets boost from Westminster and Holyrood

Suzanne Forup, head of development Scotland for Cycling UK, said: “Links like the one planned between Gullane and Drem are vital to enable safe and active travel between our towns and villages in rural Scotland.

“The DG Core Path group should be commended for their steadfast campaign to find a suitable route to link the two villages, allowing safer travel for everyone in the area.”

Dave Keane, Sustrans Scotland community links manager, said: “It is encouraging to see progress being made on a safe and accessible walking and cycling link between Gullane and Drem.

“The DG Core Path group have been tireless in their campaigning for the path to try and improve active travel routes in their local area.”

A spokeswoman for East Lothian Council said that she was unable to comment on the latest potential development in the project ahead of Tuesday's meeting.