Southend Council leader Charles Latham announced the dramatic U-turn at a hastily convened press conference last Friday.
Under the new proposals a dual carriageway will be built on the outside edge of the park and commercial land to the north of Priory Crescent will be bought up. Councillor Roger Weaver, cabinet member for transport, said: "We have narrowed ten options down to five and ruled out building an underpass, flyover or gyratory system. There is no option to do nothing because the council will not achieve further investment.
"We welcome public comment on the new scheme."
However, under any new proposals, many trees in the park still face the axe. Priory Park Preservation Society and Friends of the Earth insist this is unacceptable.
He said: "The park has not been saved by any particular newspaper or pressure group, because the petitions are not representative of everyone in this town. People as far away as London and Kent have had petitions pushed under their noses and haven't checked all the facts before signing."
Friends of the Earth (FOE) have withdrawn from the Local Transport Partnership Forum in a storm of protest following Mr Latham's statement to petitioners claiming FOE had never objected to park road plans.
Jon Fuller, FOE transport spokesman, said: "We have informed Local Government MP Stephen Byers, the Government ombudsman and the eastern region Government office that this council is intent on misleading the public."