A council owned car park in Christchurch has come under scrutiny after residents have called it “a public disgrace”.

Christchurch Riverlands car park on Wick Lane, south of the River Stour, has come under fire after heavy machinery and the poor weather has resulted in sections of the car park being treacherous by foot and, in places, impassable for people with wheelchairs, buggies and pushchairs.

The car park was used as the materials and machinery store for the recent creation of the riverside pedestrian trail linking Tuckton Bridge to the Hengistbury Head Sailing Club.

The heavy machinery traffic chewed up the original car park surface, which has not been replaced since, resulting in uneven car park.

Ted Vary, a resident to the Tuckton area who lives close to the car park, said: “They did such a good job on the pedestrian path, it looks fantastic.

“It would have cost only a few tuppence more to sort out the car park.”

Ted has written an open letter to the Head of BCP Council Vikki Slade addressing the problem.

In his initial letter, he said: “[The car park] is not just an eyesore but a significant inconvenience and potential hazard to the users, as young mothers with pushchairs, toddler with little bikes and scooters, try and negotiate shell holes that would grace the set of 1917.”

In his letter, he also asked the council leader for the average annual income from the car park, what the additional cost of work would have been if completed as part of the earlier contract, and what it will now cost to bring it up to the same standard.

Vikki Slade responded to the letter via email, saying that she has “raised this issue with officers and I have had confirmation that some remedial work has now been carried out to bring the car park surfacing back to standard.”

However, she went on to say that, due to the nature of the surfacing, the car park “will suffer” from heavy machinery and poor weather.

In her letter, Vikki Slade added: “A number of the leisure car parks in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are finished with gravel and this is often seen as preferable in more natural environments partly because they are more porous surfaces.”

However, in response to the letter, Ted has said he has not seen any remedial work carried out on the site.

He wrote: “I live just 50 yards from the car park and have seen no activity, nor seen the results of any remedial activity, since the work was done shortly after the removal of the plant and materials.”

“If the material used for surfacing the cycle track all the way through the natural landscape is the accepted standard, then why not so for the much more heavily loaded car park surface set in the natural landscape?”

A spokesperson from the council said that the site on their radar, yet no timescale has been given for its resurfacing.

Ted was informed by the council that the area had since been levelled off but was told that, long term, the council don't have the money to do any top up. Yet, with the bad weather on the weekend, the puddles reappeared.