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The Fourth Statistical Account of East Lothian

Transport

The railway station had closed in 1933 for passenger trains. Quite a few people travelled to work by bus to Edinburgh, mainly office workers, and others worked in Haddington in factories such as the West Mills, Kilspindie Knitwear and baker’s shops and so on. In 1945, the bus service ran at two hourly intervals, 20 minutes to the odd hour to Haddington and every two hours on the even hours to Edinburgh. By 2000, the service had declined to an SMT service to Edinburgh every other even hour, to Haddington every other odd hour at twenty minutes to the hour. There were no private transport services in the parish apart from taxis.

The service provided by SMT was quite good apart from the last bus from Haddington leaving at 9.40pm (no good for cinema which finished at 10pm or later). The bus services were later put out to tender and other companies have taken over. Bus services are not now so comprehensive. The growing number of car owners meant that buses were running almost empty and therefore not economical. To go to Edinburgh now from Gifford means via Haddington. Connections to the parish are not guaranteed.

Many houses now have more than one car. Where there are no garages, cars must park on the streets, often causing passing problems, especially near the new school where school buses often have problems with parked cars. Many people find that travelling by car to work elsewhere is by far the quickest and most convenient.

There was a Fisherman’s Walk from Gifford to Bolton (closed off by Cala private housing in Old Mill Lane in 1998). I would like to see better maintenance of local footpaths on roads out of Gifford – people still like to walk!!

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