Whakatāne District Council is making a number of changes to car parking along West End Road to improve the safety and usability of the area.

Line markings will be changed on the far end of West End Road from the off-road carparking area to house number 45. These changes will switch the layout so on-road parking is provided on the beach side, rather than the house side of the road. The intention is to increase safety, especially for the elderly, disabled and families with young children, who will be able to access the beach from these parking spaces without having to cross the road.

The layout of the off-road car parking area will also be changed to improve the flow and accessibility of this area for vehicles and pedestrians. The layout of the existing kerb gardens will be altered to assist cars to re-circulate into the rear area when the front section is full.

A defined crossing point will be installed between the toilet block and the beach to improve pedestrian access and flow, while angled parking will be provided in the front section of the carpark. Additional parking spaces along the roadway will replace those removed to create the courtesy crossing.

Work on these projects starts on the week beginning 2 March. The Council is aware of the continued activities of surf schools and other beachgoers at this busy time of year, but needs to undertake this work while weather permits.

The contractor will keep as much parking available as possible while the improvement works are underway. However, there will be some disruption and restriction to access and parking during the six-week construction period.