Plaid Cymru councillors have defended their decision to scrap parking spaces along Aberystwyth's south prom, saying their plan to widen the pavement will benefit the town.

Ceredigion County Council's Cabinet approved plans to scrap scores of parking spaces along south promenade on Tuesday, despite a consultation drawing 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.

The decision was met with anger on social media with residents accusing Ceredigion County Council of 'killing the town slowly', ignoring the views of local people and generally being 'useless'.

At Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Lib Dem councillor for Aberaeron, Elizabeth Evans: ”What you’re managing to do is disenfranchise local businesses; it will be exciting but I don’t feel you’ve really taken heed of the objectors.”

She added: “In the short term it will hurt business, I can’t see how it won’t.”

The Plaid Cymru councillors have on Wednesday evening responded, saying 'it was not an easy decision' but they decided to push ahead with it as three years ago it received a £10.8m grant to improve the seafront from harbour to pier and it plans to widen the pavement, introducing a cycle path.

The statement adds: "We have heard and listened to people's calls, read the objections and the petition and we understand that there is disappointment among local businesses and consumers because of our decision and it has been a difficult process for us as cabinet in reaching a decision but we are confident these changes will lead to benefits for businesses and more walkers and cyclists enjoying South Prom."

Part of the £10.8m grant will also be used to fix the bridges and install better lighting on the castle grounds, the Plaid Cymru councillors said.

The old Arriva depot is to also be converted into car parking spaces, which Plaid Cymru says 'is as close to the town centre as South Prom'.

A significant amount of the £10.8m will go towards work at the Old College.

Bryan Davies, Leader of Ceredigion County Council, added: "Not only will the £10.8m be an investment for Aberystwyth, but it is also an investment for Ceredigion and the hope is that it will attract much needed private investment to the town on for the future.

“During a financially challenging period, we need to take advantage of the chance to get grant funding from the UK government as Community Prosperity Funds”.