Businesses have ‘railed’ against’ plans to remove parking bays in Newquay town centre as part of the Mid Cornwall Metro scheme.

Shops are concerned a proposal to take away 19 short term parking spaces along Cliff Road to make way for a new cycle lane from the Tram Tracks to the Barrowfields will damage business.

Cornwall Council proposes to replace the three bays outside Morrisons Daily, Dominoes and the Old Factory Shop with cycle lanes to encourage people to cycle more.

But businesses argue the unitary authority needs to make it as convenient as possible for people to park up and visit due to the fierce competition they face against companies such as Amazon.

Residents who live above shops in Cliff Road are fearful the scheme would take away the parking spaces available near their homes.

Newquay Central Cornwall councillor Louis Gardner states the £7.2million plans to improve Newquay Train Station and the surrounding area as part of the Mid Cornwall Metro scheme would create more parking spaces.

Businesses along Cliff Road are not convinced and want to keep their parking areas. 

They believe there are alternative routes for the cycle lanes rather than taking away the bays through the alleyways behind Cliff Road or through Eliot Gardens.

A public consultation on the plans where people can give their feedback will be staged at the Hotel Victoria on Friday, February 9 between 10am and 7pm and on Saturday, February 10 from 10am and 4pm.

Businesses believe there is not enough time to change the plans at this stage as work is due to start on the Mid Cornwall Metro scheme next year but they still propose to fight the plans.

They are organising a petition and are calling on businesses and residents to lobby Cllr Gardner as well as Newquay BID manager Mark Warren.

Dirk Parker, the owner of K2 Gym in Cliff Road, said: “This area has gone from being the quiet end of town to a thriving area over the past couple of years.

“There are no businesses in Cliff Road like in Fore Street that close down over the winter. You could come down here on a cold wet Tuesday morning in the winter and all the spaces are full with people parking up and visiting the businesses like the hairdressers, the gym and the estate agents.

“The car park spaces in Cliff Road are so important as it doesn’t have natural footfall like Bank Street.

“There is a drive to make Newquay a 12 months of the year town. Cliff Road trades successfully 12 months of the year due to its free, convenient parking.

“They serve locals 12 months a year and one of the reasons for that is that is because people can pull in and park up. Now the council wants to take all those parking spaces away to make way for a cycle lane. That to me is completely bonkers.

“There are 25 parking spaces, and they turn over six or seven times a day so that’s more than 100 cars a day servicing the businesses. That is an enormous amount of business revenue that is not going to be replaced by a cycle lane. 

“A public consultation is being held but we have been told they want to start the scheme next year so there is not enough time to change anything. The council should have consulted on this last year.

“We paid for an urban planner to come up with an alternative cycle route. It might not be easy but there are other options.

“They want to spend money on Newquay Train Station to boost the town economy but whilst doing so are going to hamper the town’s economy.

“The biggest competition to the town centre is Amazon so you have got to make it as convenient as possible for people to pop in and park up. There seems to be such a big push to get rid of cars but it’s not logical. “In January, when it’s raining no one is cycling. People need cars, you also have to consider elderly, disabled or anyone who chooses to drive.

“Businesses in Cliff Road that think they will be affected should contact Cllr Gardner and Mark Warren from Newquay BID.

“Also, at this stage we will be organising a petition.”

Jonathan Start, a partner at Start & Co Estate Agents, added: “Understandably the Cliff Road businesses are not happy with this. Cliff Road has no empty retail units at the moment and part of the reason the businesses thrive here is the availability of short-term parking.”

Dirk does not believe Cornwall Council is adhering to the parking policy in Newquay by pushing through the plans.

He said: “If you want to build a one-bedroom house in Newquay under the Newquay Neighbourhood Plan you have to provide one parking spaces and two parking spaces for a two bedroom flat.

“There have been plans turned down because the developments do not provide enough parking spaces but here, we have 30 flats above shops who also rely on these parking spaces and Cornwall Council wants to remove the parking.

“So, what is it?

“One parking space for a one bed flat, two for two bed flat or none?”

Cllr Gardner said: “As part of the £7.2 million improvements to Newquay, we will see a second platform installed at Newquay Station, improvements to the public realm around the Cliff Road area. 

“In addition, there will be a new cycle lane installed from the Tram Tracks to the Barrowfields improving the area dramatically for cyclists and new pathways and crossings installed for pedestrians. 

“As part of this scheme 19 short term parking spaces will be removed. 

“To replace these a number of spaces have already been created on Tolcarne Road and Edgecumbe Avenue and a further seven spaces will be installed on Oakleigh Terrace. 

“In addition, the number of available spaces in the station carpark will be increased and will offer short term free parking so overall a gain in parking available in the area. 

“The Mid Cornwall Metro scheme will not only transform rail travel options across central Cornwall but is a catalyst for creating greater opportunities for active travel by walking, cycling and e-bikes. 

“In Newquay it is a chance to invest in a busy part of the town, making it a safer and more pleasant environment, travel interchange, better for shoppers, traders and visitors. 

“This area was already identified as in need of improvement in the Newquay Town Centre Development Framework, published in November 22 by Newquay Town Council.

“We look forward to discussing options with residents, local businesses and all those with a vested interest in refreshing Newquay as a vibrant, well-connected and attractive town.”