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A ten-year plan to improve walking and cycling routes around Lichfield and Burntwood has been published.

The proposals have been drawn up as part of a series of recommendations from Staffordshire County Council.

But the plan to improve the network of routes and increase participation in walking and cycling will require a £30million investment over the next decade, the report says.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, Cllr Helen Fisher, said:

Helen Fisher

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“This plan is central to the county council’s aims of achieving healthy living for residents, access to jobs and the combating climate change.

“We want to increase people’s connectivity through cycling and walking to employment, education and leisure. This will support people to lead safer, healthier and more independent lives. 

“More people have been walking or cycling as a result of the coronavirus crisis and we want to see this continue as life gets back to normal.

“With the recent Government announcement of additional funding for cycling the plan is extremely timely and we will await with interest on how the additional funds are allocated.”

Cllr Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council

“Build on the infrastructure that is already in place”

The proposals will help the county council hit national targets to double the number of cycling journeys by 2025.

“I believe we are in an excellent position to move quickly once the funds become available so that we can build on the infrastructure that is already in place.

“We will now be consulting with our district and borough councils, local councillors and communities to seek their support for delivering the recommendations in the plan.” 

Cllr Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council

The council report says among the improvements being targeted for cyclists are new paths, toucan crossings and improved signage.

Changes to encourage walking include enhanced crossings, widened pavements and initiatives to reduce traffic speed.

The strategy can be read in full on the county council website.

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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28 Comments

  1. Lichfield has no reason not to be extremely bike-friendly. Virtually no residential district is more than 1-2 miles from the centre and there are already good bike/walking routes from the north end (Netherstowe etc) and from Darwin Park. If you live and work in Lichfield (and are lucky enough to be in good health) you can avoid using a car much of the time.

  2. I am a trustee of a charity that inter alia promotes cycling in Lichfield, a retired town planner and environmental manager so perhaps I can comment.

    There are ill maintained and ill designed cycleways, there are aggressive drivers and the 20 mph zone is not enforced and that alone makes it fearful for most people. Until the County Council and the government really get to grips with what they have done on the continent the changes we have seen will blow away in the exhausts of impatient drivers and the change in modal split will revert to an unachievable dream objective. Yet, as you suggest it could be better. The first step is to change driver behaviour.

  3. It is a grand idea but one thing is crucially missing – culture change.
    Until we collectively start to understand that we do not exist in our own little bubble and that other people not only exist too but have just as much right to be out as you, then nothing will change.
    I’m not just talking about just road users, but generally speaking people display an alarming lack of awareness and empathy for others when they are out driving, walking, running, or cycling.
    I’m a motorist, a walker and a cyclist and I encounter problems with inconsiderate fellow motorists, walkers and cyclists on a regular basis.
    I also, occasionally, push someone in a wheelchair outside – and if you want a perfect display of what I’m talking about then try negotiating any path, shopping centre or park when pushing a wheelchair.
    Culture change often comes at a glacial speed. Unfortunately I see very little evidence that it will come quickly enough to coincide with this plan.
    This pandemic has changed much, but in my experience in recent weeks as both a motorist and cyclist nothing at all has changed.

  4. or cyclist behaviour on narrow country lanes having followed a couple on a windy narrow lane not far from the city unable to pass them

  5. In my 1950s youth, riding daily through the City, Lichfield was full of bicycles, car usage back then being less, of course.
    Now, thanks to some ‘planner’, should I cycle into the centre via Tamworth St., I cannot, legally, return without either pushing my bike on the pavement or making long detours – easy with an engine – via Lombard St., or Bore St., to St. John’s St., and Birmingham Rd., past the Council-planned ‘Folly Gardens’ opposite the station.
    Such restrictions on cycling abound and death awaits anyone attempting to use any of the ‘cycle paths’ indicated on the roads.
    Perhaps no-one in the seats of power ever rides a bicycle?

  6. Agreed on some points but I’m not sure you can say that most people are fearful of using their bikes on the road. I have seen plenty of people of all ages using their bikes on the roads and various paths. I guess to a degree it’s relative… and relative to Birmingham, Lichfield is pretty decent for bike users.

  7. ML, If it was a “narrow, windy lane” then surely you’d want to take utmost care before passing them… sometimes you just need to show a little patience. How many seconds or minutes would you have gained by getting past them?

  8. A pavement from Burntwood linking to the one installed around the Pipe Hill Island would be beneficial to pedestrians and cyclists.

  9. Whilst out cycling last week down a lane, in the Whittington Hurst area. I spotted a runner coming towards me on my side of the road, as he should be. I glanced behind me and moved over to the right hand side of the road. As we passed I said ” good morning”, he replied ” good morning” TWICE. Confused, I took a breath, at which point a “professional” type cyclist, in lycra, on a racing bike undertook me and sped between me and the runner.
    I was too gobsmacked to shout abuse at him. These “types” should be leading by example and not trying to reinforce view that cyclists are the scum of the earth

  10. Richard why do cyclists ride two abreast so that they take up half the road. Nigel is correct that the posher the bike the more ignorant the rider seems. I was walking towards a t junction yesterday when one of the lycra brigade came from the left and cut the corner into the t. If I had been in a car he would have been in a and e No brains

  11. Just an idea, but how about starting by NOT choosing a cheap and dangerous bodge job-fix on roads like the A5190? It’s like riding on a corregated roof when I’m on my bike.

  12. Mike, it is perfectly legal for cyclists to ride two abreast. Rule 66 of the Highway Code states that cyclists ..

    “. should never ride MORE than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends”. In addition, rule 68 says cyclists “MUST NOT ride in a dangerous, careless or inconsiderate manner”.

    If it’s a quiet road, two abreast is within the law.

  13. Mike, I’m someone who rides a bike but don’t consider l can speak of behalf of anyone but myself. But I understand that some bike riders ride two abreast for their own safety. By asserting their right to use the road in this way, they can reduce the opportunity for vehicles to pass them when it’s unsafe to do so, for example on country lanes with blind bends or busy roads where people sometimes drive impatiently.

    Think about it, who is going to come off worse in a collision involving vehicles and bikes? Would you really want an injury or death on your conscience because you wanted to get somewhere fractionally faster? Would you show impatience behind a hearse, or a bin lorry that has to stop frequently?

    It really is very simple. If everybody drives and rides with due care and attention for other road users we’ll be much better off.

  14. I agree with The Scribbler on a lot of points.

    I’m a cyclist and a motorist. There’s an equal amount of pillocks in both categories. Sharing the tarmac is part of life.

    Personally I think all motorists should be made to cycle a couple of times a month. Likewise, cyclists should be made to drive and sit behind a cyclist who’s being a bit of a sausage.

    We all need to show a bit of love, man. Peace out.

  15. Things have changed. Irrevocably in my view. Road conditions, traffic volumes and car speeds all make cycling a dangerous undertaking. Sure purpose built facilities give a degree of safety, but junctions, traffic lights, cornering etcetera have been seen to be problematic. Are you happy when your children take their bikes on the open road? Few road users have the patience to share; cars, bikes and lorries alike (as in many aspects of modern times) expecting any change is very optimistic.

  16. I’m sure we can all tell of incidents that have happened to us on a daily basis as motorists, cyclists, walkers and runners. I could probably list stuff on a daily basis. But that’s part of the problem.
    Simply pointing the finger and recounting these incidents doesn’t help anyone, understanding how and why other people use roads, cycle paths and pavements does help.
    My first instinct as a driver, cyclist and walker (I hate running, but it would apply if I did it) is to slow down and assess what my action should be that is best for me and other road and path users. I could easily speed up and force my decision on everyone else, but frankly even in these troubling times that second or two I save in doing it isn’t helping me or anyone else.
    Elsewhere on here the man they call Barry Scott said common sense was no longer fashionable.
    Neither is patience.

  17. Philip ,it is some years ago when still working I was driving one of our trucks in Burton delivering to a contractor, as I indicated to turn left and then did a youngster on a bike came straight of the pavement hitting the cab door, he was lucky he could have been under the wheels absolute no road sense what happened to bike training,
    Lucky for us both . I was half way round the turn. Frightening

  18. Don’t any of you go on holiday in the Netherlands (not that some would or could soon), or indeed any country where there is pro-bike legislation. Having said that, if there was a will, there would be a way. I have two ways of cycling to Lichfield, firstly along an appalling surface (it was just as bad before) with mostly considerate drivers (but….) or along the back lane via the Abnalls – a national cycle and walking route (before rockfall) – with white vans and huge 4x4s regularly speeding. The most obvious way is to make an exclusive cycle path, either the Abnalls route (to be ignored as usual) or on the main road (but at what cost?).

  19. I have done a lot of driving around Lichfield and the surrounding area in the last 2 months and I have to agree with the cyclists on here that the behaviour of a lot of motorists is appalling. The last time I threw my leg over a saddle was in my late teens when traffic was much less busy. I have to say the majority of modern cyclists I encounter seem a lot more aware and courteous on the road than a lot of drivers.
    Mr Scribbler makes a valid point that we are all responsible for making this better. But the willingness of a lot of drivers to be more considerate is sadly absent.

  20. Why have you been doing “a lot of driving” during the so called lockdown. The rest of us have been doing the minimum my car has done about 50 miles in the last 11 weeks the lock down has been on

  21. I’ve been working as a volunteer delivery driver for a number of groups delivering food, prescriptions and other essential items to mainly pensioners and a few single parent families. We also carry out odd jobs and gardening such as trimming hedges along pavements. We maintain social distancing at all times.
    As I lost my job at the start of the lockdown it seemed a good idea to do something and I wanted to offer my help where I could. One of my late wife’s friends put me in touch with a group looking for volunteers.

  22. If you have volunteered OK but I am in the half way house between what the government say is high risk ie age but not in high risk on same government web site. Before lock down I was doing many more miles and prior to retiring 50,000 a year driving cars and vans so I know exactly what the so called cyclists are like. Red lights are for fun, so are one way streets ,no left turns etc

  23. Just to support Barry Scott I too have been driving to organise the leafleting of the whole of Burntwood by an army of volunteers. Yes we may have been driving, ML, but in a good cause. You should join in.

  24. Unfortunately I have encountered quite a number of people like ML in the last couple of months. They tend to be the ones who criticise neighbours for not maintaining their gardens and hedges and report them to the council, without taking the time to discover the person living in the house is disabled and unable to do it themselves.
    These type of people always exist.
    They always believe they are right.
    They will never change.
    I clearly have very opposite views to a lot of people on here. But if any of them ever asked for my help I would offer it gladly.
    It is called being part of a community.
    I believe ML is merely proving Mr Scribbler’s point about needing to change attitudes. The ML type people of our world will never change.

  25. ML, that’s quite some generalisation. Are all motorists or pedestrians the same as well?

    Maybe take a look at the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by drunk/drugged/uninsured/unlicensed/mobile-phone using drivers compared to those caused by people who ride a bike, then let me know who poses the bigger threat.

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