Tape marking social distancing in Lichfield city centre

Council chiefs say they are “urgently” reviewing their guidelines after a Lichfield business was ordered to remove tape marking out social distancing spaces over concerns they were a trip hazard.

The owner of the city centre store – who asked not be named – had introduced the pavement markings outside their premises as part of measures to trade within the rules brought in to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

But officers from Lichfield District Council contacted the company to say they would need to be removed as they were a potential trip hazard.

The request to pull up the tape came despite other companies in the city centre using similar methods to control the proximity of customers to each other.

Lichfield Live understands the warning over pavement markings was only issued to the solitary independent retailer.

“It’s a shame that the council feels the need to lodge complaints with hard-working companies doing their best, but doesn’t seem to want to do the same with large multinationals.

“Apparently putting tape on a pavement marking out two metres is now a trip hazard.”

Spokesperson for the Lichfield business ordered to take up social distancing markings

“We urgently need to review our guidance”

Cllr Angela Lax, cabinet member for legal and regulatory services, told Lichfield Live the situation was being reviewed – but didn’t confirm whether the business in question would be allowed to reinstate the markings.

Angela Lax

“This case has highlighted that we urgently need to review our guidance to businesses to reflect the changing landscape we are in.

“We are working with Staffordshire County Council to make sure the guidance is updated following the latest advice as soon as possible.

“We are also looking at how we can improve our communications with businesses to make sure we are supportive and helpful. 

“We would like to encourage businesses to get in touch with us if they need help as they adapt to new ways of working.”

Cllr Angela Lax, Lichfield District Council


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

33 replies on “Council reviewing guidelines after ordering Lichfield business to remove coronavirus social distancing markings over ‘trip hazard’ concerns”

  1. What are we paying our council tax for? Certainly not prohibiting a small business from earning a living and providing a service. Are the council officers asking the banks to remove their tapes? Absolutely bonkers decision. Pullen and his mates need to get a grip and put a stop to this small minded behaviour…..trip hazard, my a*se. Shocking action by LDC.

  2. Seems typical for Lichfield’s council. Perhaps the shop keeper refused to put up a sign at the last election. Also most of the big retailers back Boris with money so Fabricant will have been instructed to tell the council. Might not be true but never smoke without fire and one hell of a lot of smoke around

  3. Unbelievable LDC , what about the trip hazard you built into the market square block paving otherwise known as a shallow kerb. It’s fortunate you haven’t been sued yet by injured pedestrians.
    If you want to do something meaningful stop the traffic illegally entering there.

  4. From the image I would say the two raised drains are more of a trip hazard than that flush fitting tape. Is it that it is hazard tape so might frighten people into a trip or fall?

  5. Surely, the council can do what they usually do.

    Set up a group to look into this.
    Get expensive consultants to write a number of reports.
    Have a few more meetings.
    Produce a set of pointless recommendations, around 2023

  6. That poor business trying their best to keep others safe. Lichfield council you should write a letter of apology and have it published, Also maybe look up on a Health and Safety website what a trip hazard is.. It’s certainly not tape!!! You should be encouraging businesses to take good measures not removing their safe behaviour.

  7. I do think that this council needs overhauling top to bottom. Replaced by people whom have something to add to the services. I’ve dodged more pot holes, raised kerbs, overgrown hedges , which are never looked at. More so now than there’s ever been

  8. I’ve been there and it’s a ridiculous complaint. No one could trip over there. I suggest the shop draws them with chalk then that should please the council, us , and the shop.

  9. I cannot understand people like AnneS.
    How can she side with the council on this – “It wouldn’t be allowed. It just absolutely beggars belief.”

    We are only talking about some tape on the floor and these businesses are doing the correct and “responsible” thing by trying to keep their customers safe and healthy.
    I applaud the actions of these businesses and I believe the council needs to take a long hard look at itself.
    There are far worse problems in the city centre which the council itself has neglected.

  10. Barry Scott,

    Using our grey matter a little here, might it be possible that AnnS’ comment was a typo, and she was actually saying “it shouldn’t be allowed for the council to act like this”?

    At least ask for clarification
    Before charging in?

    Your posts on here are becoming more and more erratic by the day.

    Is this all you do? Sit at home and post comments on this site and others?? Do you have anger management issues?


  11. they don’t want people tripping up over that tape and then getting their head stuck in that railing round the tree , that would be bad publicity , perhaps they could could install a few pot holes at adequate social distancing space, after all as these are largely ignored by LDC they are obviously a safer option than the aforementioned tape.

  12. It is not up to me to justify my comments, rather AnneS needs to clarify her stance on the matter.
    “It wouldn’t be allowed. It just absolutely beggars belief.” That clearly suggests the use of tape wouldn’t normally be allowed in normal circumstances and it beggars belief that the shop should feel it OK to do so.

    As someone who constantly has words put in their mouth by people on here who shamelessly decide to dig the finger in and name call simply because I dare to have an opposite viewpoint to them, it seems “laughable” in the extreme to me that I’m still apparently the one at fault!
    All I’m doing is siding with the majority of people on here and saying the council is in the wrong.
    I have double-checked this “website” several times and nowhere does it say you can only express an opinion if you against the MP, against the council and have left or liberal viewpoints on any matter.

  13. Was it red tape? because I’m led to believe LDC have a lot of it!

    Or maybe it wasn’t the right sort of tape – If you ask http://www.advancetapes.com theres over 34 different types of tape maybe it was Ticker, could have been Gaffa, maybe even Mrs Mullards personal fave bondage or my personal favourite the 25.4mm Self-amalgamating Tape!

    So many choices to lay at your door…….and then get removed!

  14. Wind yer neck in Barry. All that’s being suggested is that you are jumping to conclusions about Ann’s comment. I read it that she was saying that her comments wouldn’t be allowed and the council’s reaction beggars belief…

    Ann, please put us out of our misery :)

  15. How can you be a councillor and be so stupid as to assume that tape is a trip hazard. It is a suggested guide for people’s safety.
    There are so many dangerous trip hazards around town that need rectification, are these councillors oblivious to them !!!!!

  16. With the apalling state of the roads and paths in Lichfield who the hell are the council to criticise someone else! Someone who is trying to do the right thing, hypocrites! They should get their own house in order and do what we pay them for before pointing the finger elsewhere. They really are a waste of space.

  17. Honestly, to infer from AnnS that she sided with the council from what she said requires such a monumentally warped view of reality that it really wouldn’t be allowed. It beggars belief.

    Oh hang on, that should read “shouldn’t”….

  18. Barry Scott, this is my first time on this website and I can honestly say that your comments are rude, ill founded and objectionable. You should apologize rather than just lash out at others to disguise your embarrassment at making a fool of yourself.

  19. It takes a crisis to really show how good or bad our leaders are, local and national.

    I like Lichfield city centre, but driving in from Tamworth on A51 is a slalom of dodging massive holes. It’s been like it for years. All drivers have to take avoiding action

    Not that Tamworth is much better. Guess no chance of any repairs for a long time on roads or pavements.

  20. I’ve only just read all the comments. So I’ll put everyone out of their misery.
    First though Barry my name is AnnS NOT AnneS so you obviously don’t read properly what is in front of you.
    I was NOT siding with the council. My comment was simply saying that I had nothing further to add to the comments already posted, which I agreed with and that I wouldn’t dream of saying what I really thought about this daft decision, because it wouldn’t be allowed *^%*^%*^%. and that the decision beggared belief!
    Thank you to all those that understood my comment and for your support.
    I hope this clears up the matter for you Barry. AnnS

    I cannot understand people like AnneS.
    How can she side with the council on this – “It wouldn’t be allowed. It just absolutely beggars belief.”

  21. Thank you AnnS for the clarification.
    I apologise for the misunderstanding.

    I also apologise for the mistake with your name. My aunt is called Anne, so I’m used to writing Anne, rather than Ann.

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