The A1 trunk road bypass was envisaged as passing to the south of Tranent in the East Lothian County Council County Development Plan of 1953. The advantage of the northern route was its proximity to the A198, which funnelled the east-west flow of traffic in the north of East Lothian (Tindall, 1998 p269). Years of talking ensued before the bypass (integral with the Musselburgh bypass) was opened in 1986. It was dualled as far as Bankton, after which a much criticised single section continued, to join the original A1 road just beyond Macmerry. Upgrading followed in 1996 when dualling was extended as far as Haddington, with the recent single carriageway to Macmerry becoming the westbound carriageway of the new road.
The countryside is well served by safe, traffic-free footpaths, perhaps more than most parts of the county. Examples are Fa’side House to Elphinstone (connecting over to Inveresk and Crossgatehall); the Ormiston railway walk from Crossgatehall to Saltoun, and branching off to Macmerry; Winton woods, the ‘back roads’ and farm tracks between Tranent and Macmerry; the Heugh footpath to Meadowmill and Cockenzie; and the ‘Brickworks Road’ north of Bankpark, Tranent. These can all be used as cycleways too.
David Sydeserff recalls:
In the mid to late 1970s, before the opencast and the closing up of roads over that land, the old folk (men) used to regularly walk these footpaths and roads. These were mostly retired miners – maybe a dozen or so in number – and they were out every day, maybe twice a day (except in very bad weather). It was a regular exercise and meeting for them. Younger folk were also out with their dogs as good as every day. Perhaps 30 plus people (all male) were regular daily walkers.