Ceredigion County Council has given the green light to a plan for more parking restrictions on Aberystwyth promenade which will see scores of parking spaces lost in a bid to remove cars from the area and provide more space for cyclists and pedestrians despite the scheme receiving 327 objections and a 726 signature petition against it.

The council will introduce parking restrictions in and around south promenade that will see new waiting times introduced in some areas, with double yellow lines replacing parking spaces along a vast stretch of the seafront from the Old College to South Beach, after Cabinet members signed off on the plan on Tuesday, 14 May.

Plans for the scheme - separate from controversial plans outlined in the budget to begin charging for parking on the promenade - suggest that between 42 and 55 current parking spaces will be lost, while more will be affected by additionally restrictive waiting times.

The plans, which will create space for a two way system around the castle end of the promenade and create extra space for cyclists and pedestrians, will be paid for out of the Levelling Up Funding grant award of £10.8M given to the council in 2021.

£4.8m of that cash was set aside “to be used to fund active travel connectivity improvements between the Castle, the Old College, and the Harbour area” and council leader Bryan Davies told members that Aberystwyth “needs every bit of grant money” it can get and “there is a chance we lose the £10.8m” if the scheme isn’t backed.

During a consultation phase, 327 objections were received against the scheme, including from the ward county councillor Endaf Edwards, Aberystwyth Town Council, HM Coastguard, Aberystwyth and District Civic Society, and Hywel Dda Health Board.

Almost all the objections referred to loss of parking, and impacts on businesses, residents, commuters, and tourism.

A petition against the changes was signed by 726 people.

Just one response in support for the plans was received.

Cabinet member Keith Henson said the scheme is “essential” to the town and will “improve the entire area for tourists and locals.”

Aberystwyth councillor and Cabinet member Alun Williams told members that “this is the worst run consultation” on a major issue that he has “ever seen,” saying “the case hasn’t been put” by the council as to why the scheme is so valuable to the town.

“I’m angry about the failure of the consultation to put the positives of the plan,” he said.

“People, through no fault of their own, haven’t understood the bigger picture.

“When you put all of this together it leads to a more attractive promenade and more coherently linked town.

“In five to 10 years’ time people will love the prom and they will forget.”

As part of the project, members heard, the council will extend the Maes-Yr-Afon car park into the empty former Arriva site which could have “the potential to increase available spaces by over 150” to replace those lost on the promenade.