Aberlady | Transport

It is difficult to imagine that Aberlady residents once had the option of travelling by train from their own railway station, on a branch line from Longniddry to Gullane that was opened in 1846. The station was situated outside the village on the Haddington road. The branch was closed for passenger traffic in 1932, unable in the end to compete with the convenience and comparative cheapness of the new SMT (Scottish Motor Traction) bus services dating from the 1920s. The line continued to be used for freight traffic until the Beeching ‘axe’ fell in 1964.

In the 1950s the station building at Aberlady was let as summer holiday ‘camping apartments’, the accommodation for six people comprising two bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom, with gas for cooking and lighting. An advert of 1958 mentions ‘bracing climate, good sands, safe bathing, golf and bowls’ (Hajducki, A., 1992 p163). Eventually, Eastern Scottish, then Lowland succeeded the familiar green SMT buses plying between Edinburgh and North Berwick. Since 1997 First Bus, whose evening and weekend services are subsidised by East Lothian Council, has maintained the route. A limited bus service has connected Aberlady with Haddington since about 1987, and is currently provided by Eve Coaches. This subsidised service also connects Aberlady with Port Seton and Newcraighall.

In recent times the cost of petrol and city parking has prompted more local people to travel to Edinburgh by train from Longniddry. Public disapproval of ‘drink-drivers’ and increasingly severe penalties for offenders have encouraged greater use of taxis, including the service provided in recent years in Aberlady.

Within the village, Guy Brothers of Central Garage, Main Street, was a family business offering a carrier and contracting service, and also car hire. It started in 1926 and continued until it was nationalised in 1949-50. After that the garage was used as a store for British Road Services (BRS), all the lorries etc. having been transferred to other depots. It was ultimately sold as a garage and taken over by the Aberlady Garage Co. Ltd., but ceased trading as such in January 2001 when it was sold for private housing.