SEVERAL of the controversial active travel projects introduced by BCP Council are to be removed by the new Conservative administration.

Schemes introduced in Leven Avenue and at Keyhole Bridge will be scrapped while the deferred East Overcliff Drive and Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff Drive plans will be “permanently” abandoned following opposition from ward councillors.

Councillor Drew Mellor, the new leader of the council, said he would “not repeat the mistakes” made by the previous Unity Alliance administration which had been accused of “a lack of consultation” on the measures.

This had formed a significant part of his justification to call a vote of no confidence in the council’s previous leadership, which he said had not sought the view of people affected by the changes.

He said his approach to the government-led scheme to encourage more people to walk and cycle would now be based on the wishes of ward councillors.

“We were openly critical of the previous administration’s actions in forcing many of these schemes through without taking into account the views of residents and local councillors,” he said. “We will not repeat those mistakes.

“These revised proposals put the wishes of local councillors first. If they are happy with the schemes, they will remain through the trial period. If they’re not, we’ve looked at changes – including scrapping a number of schemes.

“Ward councillors are on the ground and are ultimately accountable to their residents. We might not be happy with all of the ideas but we will not dictate to people that we know best.”

Under the new plans, the closure at Leven Avenue will be removed with the council saying it had been “very unpopular”, despite a public display of support last weekend, but it could return as part of any wider proposal for the area.

The closure at Keyhole Bridge will also be removed following concerns cyclists and motorcyclists were travelling through it too fast and endangering pedestrians. It will be lifted next month, after road works are completed.

The council also confirmed the previously deferred East Overcliff Drive and Boscombe and Southbourne Overcliff Drive projects “will be permanently removed from any future plans”.

At Poole Quay, the council said it would work with business leaders to consider times at which the closures there could be lifted over the winter months. It said the changes had “generally benefitted” businesses over the summer but options were being considered for quieter periods.

And all of the Churchfield Road, Birds Hill Road, Darby’s Lane and Tatnam Road measures will be kept in place for the full six-month consultation period having been “strongly supported” by ward councillors.

The closure at Victoria Park Road will also remain, on the condition that information from it is used to inform “potential wider schemes” in the area.

Cabinet member for transport, Cllr Mike Greene, said he was “100 per cent behind” people moving away from using cars but that this needed to be done “in a fair and balanced way”.

“Our way forward will ensure an inclusive approach to future infrastructure changes – ensuring that nobody is left behind as we develop and implement plans to reduce congestion, improve air quality and support people towards healthier and more active lifestyles,” he said.