HOTELIERS have criticised BCP Council for not consulting them on plans to close part of a clifftop road in Bournemouth to through traffic.

Concerns have been raised about the decision to block East Overcliff Drive at its junctions with Meyrick Road and Manor Road.

But the council’s cabinet member for transport, councillor Andy Hadley, said there would still be access and that the scheme would make the area “more attractive” for visitors.

The scheme, which is due to be implemented at the end of August, will see East Overcliff Drive closed to traffic with modal filters installed.

However, the council said hotels will still have access and parking spaces will not be removed.

Funding has been provided through the government’s emergency active travel fund.

The council said the move was to try and “share the load” of cyclists and pedestrians with the promenade by making a “calmer environment” for them through stopping through traffic.

But the plans have drawn criticism from both hoteliers and ward councillors.

Representatives of both Hotel Miramar and Marsham Court Hotel have raised concerns about the proposals, despite neither being in the blocked section of the road.

Theo Iakimov, Hotel Miramar general manager, said: “My main concern is the lack of consultation or even an acknowledgement that our businesses will be affected by this scheme.

“It is not only about individual hotels, this scheme will potentially change the flow and ambiance of East Overcliff Drive, therefore a clarification needs to be made, hopefully with the participation of residents and businesses alike.”

Marsham Court Hotel managing director Rosie Radwell described the scheme as “a nightmare at an awful time”.

But Cllr Hadley said the measures being proposed would benefit hotel guests.

“In line with recent government guidelines we are proposing to implement experimental measures at East Overcliff Drive which aims to reduce through traffic in this area,” he said.

“These proposals are not pedestrianisation of the overcliff and people will still be able to access properties, including hotels, by car and coach.

“The temporary scheme will create a safer and more attractive space that is less dominated by cars and will offer people, including hotel guests a more improved experience when visiting this part of town and wanting to enjoy the area’s beautiful and natural coastline.”

It is proposed that the scheme will be put in place in the last week of August.