A BOURNEMOUTH councillor has insisted that every parking space lost to new development in Bournemouth will be replaced.

Cllr Michael Filer’s pledge comes after a weekend of parking madness with an unusually high demand for spaces, fuelled by hot weather, leading to motorists abandoning their vehicles on double yellow lines and grass verges.

Several of the resort’s car-parks are now the site of major re-development schemes.

Ground work has started on a £40 million student accommodation scheme at the Madeira Road West car-park and two landmark hotels are to be built on the former Terrace Mount car-park site.

The Leyton Mount car-park has been closed to make way for a block of flats and the council is considering building a new bus hub in what is now the town centre NCP car park at Exeter Road.

But Cllr Filer, cabinet member for transportation, insists that looks are definitely deceiving.

He said: “Car-parking spaces are being lost by redevelopment schemes but we will be replacing every single one of them.

“There are no plans to reduce the overall amount of parking in the town. As part of the Madeira Road scheme, a multi-storey car-park is being built which will replace the spaces at Leyton Mount.

“Land opposite the Royal Bath Hotel has recently been opened up to provide extra parking spaces and we are looking at creating more spaces there.

“The Terrace Mount scheme incorporates parking for flat owners and 300 spaces for hotel guests and Bournemouth shoppers. If the bus hub scheme goes ahead it would free up Gervis Road; car-parking spaces would not necessarily be lost.”

Cllr Filer added: “Tourism is Bournemouth’s major industry and around 85 per cent of people coming to town arrive by cars. It is essential that our car-parking spaces are not cut. The Pavilion plans incorporate a substantial number of car-parking spaces.

“Last weekend was incredibly busy; the town was overrun with visitors. We didn’t want to give out tickets; we want happy customers. In a bid to improve the situation we are looking at improving car-park signage.”