The draft masterplan for the future of Lichfield city centre has been accused of lacking ambition by a local cycling group.
The document, drawn up by David Lock Associates on behalf of Lichfield District Council, is designed to help the local authority move forward from the failed Friarsgate scheme.
But Lichfield Re:Cycle says the proposals are a missed opportunity to rethink the future of the city centre.
A spokesperson for the group said:
“When councils in Brighton, Bristol and York are planning to stop cars from driving into their city centres and Birmingham has recently announced a Transport Plan to reduce the damaging impact of transport, we are disappointed that the draft of this city centre plan doesn’t appear to have the level of ambition required for 2020, let alone for the year 2040.”Lichfield Re:Cycle spokesperson
The group has formally responded to the consultation highlighting their concerns over the future direction of the city.
Their response says:
“The mitigation in the draft plan of the dominance of car transport in Lichfield city centre is more about designing pathways across the traffic roads rather than properly prioritising the desires of pedestrians, cyclists, human powered beings.
“We don’t feel the report goes beyond mentioning this as an aspiration. It merely echoes a vision of the present and past, with some brightly coloured street furniture thrown in.
“The only thing that is planned in some detail seems to be the circular walking and pedestrian route around Minster Pool.
“This one concrete example entirely misses the point and sums up the lack of serious ambition – around our priorities – in the documents.
“This would make sense and link the national cycle network that enters the city centre from Stowe Pool to the route crossing through Beacon Park, crossing Beacon Street by the registry office. But if a drastically more ambitious plan was imagined, this new path and route would be unnecessary.
“If walking, directly or after alighting from improved public transport, or cycling into the city centre from either East or West directions, the flow could be onto Dam Street and into to the commercial centre by a traffic free, pedestrian friendly former Bird Street car park, not through a car park just re-imagined with an island of trees in the middle.
“This plan is one opportunity to properly look ahead to 2040 and beyond, with ambition. Radical sounding plans will be mainstream before we know it.
“The plan demands its contents be realistic. If emergency equals urgency, then let’s get on with it.
“We are one local charity with an interest and expertise that we can share. In the Spring we plan to host a cycling and walking forum and this could easily incorporate a wider look at health and movement in the city and of it’s residents, inviting those authorities and interested people to imagine the ambition we feel is lacking in this document and elsewhere.”Lichfield Re:Cycle consultation response