A council is to write to residents so they can have a further say in car parking plans which it is claimed would remove an area from Saltburn’s top promenade “equal that of the size of the pier”.

Redcar and Cleveland Council has also released new ‘before and after’ images in an attempt to assuage the fears of some opponents.

Earlier this month the local authority applied the brakes on the scheme to reduce the promenade on Marine Parade to accommodate new right angled parking bays after receiving “mixed views”.

The plans aimed at addressing “congested and dangerous” car parking particularly during the summer months both on the top prom and the adjacent so-called jewel streets have prompted protests with a Facebook campaign lambasting the council for its efforts to date.

The Northern Echo:

Councillor Carl Quartermain, the cabinet member for highways and transport, said he wanted a “crystal clear” view from the public and explained that a survey had been freshly drawn up for residents and visitors to complete, despite a consultation having already taken place.

The plans, which also include introducing double yellow lines on the town side of Marine Parade and electric vehicle charging stations, are estimated to cost £450,000 and are due to be paid for from a £1.2m Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) investment in Saltburn.

Cllr Quartermain said: “We are currently seeking the views of the Saltburn community and visitors to the town on the proposed parking changes to Marine Parade.

“The proposals seek to not only improve parking arrangements, but to also improve highway safety by reducing speeds and ensuring there is sufficient road width available for users.

“To capture people’s views a survey has been created alongside a web page which sets out the reasons as to why these proposals have been developed.  “We have also prepared some accurate images to give people a better understanding of the proposals.

“We do hope that residents and visitors will take the time to study the information that has been prepared and that they will have their say on these important proposals by completing the survey.  “Residents and businesses of Saltburn are advised to look out for correspondence that will be posted in the coming days.  “This will be delivered in envelopes clearly marked.”

The Northern Echo:

The council said the deadline to complete the survey was November 21 with detailed information having also been placed for the public in Saltburn Library.  ‘Drastic modification’ Gemma Booth, a spokeswoman for the group Saltburn Against Promenade Changes, said a public meeting had been called at 7pm next Monday evening at Saltburn Community Hall to discuss “how a decision to remove an area calculated to almost equal that of the size of the pier was made”.

Acknowledging the council’s online survey, she described the plans as a “drastic modification to one of Saltburn’s notable features”.

The group fears a potential loss of amenity with the promenade a popular spot for leisure-type pastimes and informal gatherings, although Saltburn councillor Philip Thomson previously said the section of pavement being lost was already being used by motorists to park in an unregulated fashion and the prom had in fact been narrower in Victorian times – when it was built – than it was now.

He also criticised what he called “disinformation” in the public domain with some concerns based on not having all of the facts.

Ms Booth claimed the artists concepts used by the council to promote the changes “use a lot of creative licence”.

She said: “[This] is all for the sake of accommodation of car parking that maxes out for no more than four months of the year.  “For the rest of the year Marine Parade is largely empty.”

She described the promenade being narrowed to a “pinch point” of no more than 1.75 metres wide near a children’s play area with pedestrians, possibly with pushchairs, young children or dogs being forced to side-step oncoming pedestrians.

Meanwhile, the number of extra spaces due to be created had “continually varied”.

Ms Booth added: “The people of Saltburn have continually asked for a more accommodating solution, which balances seasonal visitor needs whilst maintaining a unique Victorian seaside town.

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“Why should we lose yet another aspect of the town that makes it a charming place to live and visit?”

The current proposals were drawn up with the backing of all three of Saltburn’s ward councillors and will be accompanied by 20mph speed limits.

The cash allocated to the council for the works was due to be spent by April next year, but the local authority has been in discussions with TVCA about extending this.