CONTENTIOUS plans to introduce permit-only parking at a busy town centre car park in Ebbw Vale have been scrapped.

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council had previously announced it was planning on restricting parking at Ebbw Vale Town Station to permit holders from next month.

But the plans were met with widespread opposition, with a petition calling for the proposal to be scrapped signed by nearly 3,000 people.

Read more about the issue here:

And this evening the council has announced it has scrapped the move.

The car park is next to town train station - as well as the council's General Office - and it was generally thought the permits would only be issued to council members and staff.

A council statement said: "We apologise and acknowledge that in this case the consultation arrangements with the public have fallen short of our normal standards and your expectations.

"This has created unnecessary public concern and confusion amongst users of this popular car park which many people use for business and leisure travel purposes.

"The General Office site is currently being used by the health board to deliver the vital Covid-19 vaccination programme.

"We are pleased that the current parking arrangements with our partners in health can continue as we support the autumn vaccination programme."

Cllr Dai Davies, deputy leader and executive member for regeneration and economic development, and Cllr Joanna Wilkins, executive member environment, jointly commented: "We know the importance of easy access to car parking facilities near the vital transport hubs located in Ebbw Vale Town and Ebbw Vale Parkway.  

"We are committed to reviewing parking provision in the area and listening to residents and our communities so we use your views to inform the council’s approach to longer term and accessible car parking provision. As a result, we have asked officers responsible for infrastructure to identify more suitable alternative proposals for the area which fully consider the views of all stakeholders.

"We must ensure that parking provision balances the needs of residents and local businesses including maintaining an adequate supply of spaces. The overall local transport plans also need to be considered including our active travel strategy and decarbonisation agenda to reduce the impact of car use on the environment in the longer term."