PLANS to close part of a clifftop road in Bournemouth to through traffic have been scrapped after a backlash from hoteliers.

BCP Council has abandoned the scheme which would have involved East Overcliff Drive being blocked between its junctions with Manor Road and Meyrick Road.

Its cabinet member for transport, councillor Andy Hadley, said hotels’ concerns were “understood” and that it was “simply not the time” for the measure to be introduced.

The proposal was drawn-up in June with funding from the government’s emergency active travel fund with the aim of making the route safer for pedestrians and cyclists. It had also been designed as an alternative to the promenade.

But concerns had been raised by hotels in the area about the impact it would have on their businesses and a lack of consultation.

Last Tuesday representatives their representatives met with council officers to discuss the scheme and the council has now scrapped its plans.

“We have listened carefully to the concerns raised by the hoteliers on East Overcliff Drive and are sympathetic to their position,” Cllr Hadley said.

“We understand the hotel trade in this area rely on pass-by traffic and we need to give these businesses the best possible chance to come through the COVID-19 recovery.

“Now is simply not the time to be putting changes in that could hinder their chance of recovery.”

The decision has been welcomed by opposition Conservative councillors who had opposed the scheme since first being informed of the proposal.

Former cabinet member for transport on Bournemouth council and town centre ward representative, councillor Mike Greene said it had been a “madcap” plan.

“Some of these schemes are useful and I would have been going ahead with because the advantages to cyclists are greater than the disadvantages to motorists,” he said. “But this was purely a car hater’s scheme.

“At that meeting [last Tuesday] we led the other side of it and I do think officers listened and they realised it really wasn’t worth staking that huge amount of political capital on this project.

“I’m delighted the council has made this U-turn and have accepted that it was never a good idea.”