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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

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14 replies on “Cycling group slams draft Lichfield city centre masterplan for lacking ambition”

  1. To be fair, as a motorist and cyclist, the city has a cycle route straight through the middle of it. From Beacon Park on the west side, through the park, past Minster Pool, through the pedestrian section, past Stowe Pool and to to Netherstowe on the east side. It takes less than 5 minutes, which is about 10 minutes less than driving in rush hour.

    Details here…

    I’m not going to complain about more routes, but the centre of the city is largely pedestrianised which makes it tricky.

  2. Try cycling down the “cycle path” on Walsall Road and you’ll realise how pathetic provisions are for sustainable transport. The cycle route you mention doesn’t touch any many routes into the city. Radical interventions are needed to reduce car use and increase public transport usage, walking and cycling.

  3. We used to cycle from Lichfield to Pipe Hill Farm via Walsall Road. After several near misses when passing cars parked in the cycle lane, idiots in cars overtook us whilst speeding towards Muckly Corner, totally ignoring on coming traffic we felt it in our best interests and safety to give up & join the car users. No we do not speed, park where we shouldn’t, rev our engines needlessly, nor do we drink & drive. What we do is be courteous to other road users as well as pedestrians. Such a shame that the speed limit & parking in cycle lanes as well as on the pavement is not policed as it should be along that stretch of road. Having observed the transgressors along this stretch of road for 10 minutes, I have come to the conclusion that if all those breaking the law in any one 24hr period were to be fined the stated fees and that money used for the repairs to potholes in the County, we would be pothole free within a couple of weeks if we drafted in repair teams from other counties.

  4. Matt before you can encourage bus use you have to have buses. Also a considerable number of cyclists do not use common sense. They ride 2 abreast with a third with his front wheel between the others making 3 abreast you can come round a corner finding them filling the road rarely with lights on ear phones in ears so they can’t hear. Also if on a joint path and cycle path they either have no bell or don’t know how to use them.

  5. The only viable cycle route is the one from Netherstowe into town. However have you tried cycling the one along Eastern Avenue to the shopping centre or to other stores along that route or even to Halfords where I sometimes need to go. It is all pitted and has potholes. It makes cycling difficult. There really is no infrastructure in the city for cycle routes. I think it’s a good idea put forward by this group to have a meeting of interested parties. Especially if local councillors and the MP become involved. However it would have every need to include residents who have mentioned the different problems in regard to this issue, such as the lack of public transport and those living in the rural areas. To my mind all of the problems connected with these issues are in some part linked to the HS2 problem and the money wasted. What I mean by this of course is that the money fit that project could be used to reinvigorate not only Lichfield and the surrounding areas but Burntwood which has a lot of potential and other areas of Staffordshire also Northern rail.

  6. To be fair the route through Darwin Park is decent as well but I agree we could do with more off-road routes and more cycle-parking provision in town.

  7. Darwin Park, unfortunatly cyclists think they have right of way as they race up the track expecting one to leap aside onto the grass for them

  8. Some cyclists ride two abreast to preserve themselves. It’s advisable to do this because it forces drivers to slow down in a way that some don’t if they pass a single line of cycles.

    If you “come round a corner and find them filling the road” you are, quite simply, going too fast if that causes you problems. You’re supposed to use common sense and drive defensively and proactively, anticipating and being ready for situations rather than having to react to them hastily.

    When was the last time you read the Highway Code?

  9. Richard if you go round a corner at night and come across cyclists all over the road with no lights on and earphones so they don’t hear you it is not going too fast it is inconsiderate cyclists not using common sense . I rarely go faster than 30 down the lanes near Shenstone and Wall as it is not safe to do so. In the course of 55 years of driving I have probably had as much experience as most

  10. Mike I hope I am more considerate on cycle paths. I often find people walking on the cycle paths and I have to ride around. A walker did say today when I was out biking into town “good thing you have a bell” . I replied “yes” . Hahaha. Anyway if the council is concerned and committed to encourage more biking around the city it will require a proper biking infrastructure but not one that interferes with walkers or motorists. I enjoy biking into Lichfield, I’m just a learner by the way, an ‘ordinary’ biker. It keeps me, an old fogey, fit and healthy. Lichfield is a wonderful forward looking creative city. Let use keep it so. Onward and Upward.

  11. On an average day, how often do you actually encounter cyclists “all over the road with no lights on and with earphones on”?

    And on an average day, how often do you see drivers using mobile phones, speeding, driving with complete disregard for other road users, and generally being irresponsible?

    I think any sensible person knows where the real danger on roads comes from.

  12. Richard most days of the week if driving at night which is always at this time of year, I know that phone use is rife but I have seen cyclists using them. If you take the road to Wall you will find cyclists weaving all over the road as they peddle up the bank to aldershore

  13. There’s always going to be a “driver and cyclist” war. Personally, I think all motorists should be made to go on a bike once a month. Sure, you can get through gaps and be a bit cheeky, but the lack of airbags, seat-belts or brakes that stop you like a car would is definitely an eye opener.

    There’s bad on both sides. I’ve seen fellow cyclists (I do a bit at the weekend to stop my belly covering my trousers) going through red lights, wearing headphones and not having lights. Likewise, when I’m in my car, I’ve seen motorists almost clipping cyclists as they don’t give enough room.

    We just need to love each other a bit more.

    Oh, and apologies for how my belly looks in lycra. I’m working on it.

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