A Lichfield business says passing trade is being hit by a decision to make changes to city centre car parking provision.

On street disabled bays have been suspended on Bore Street, Conduit Street, Market Street and Tamworth Street to help manage social distancing outside shops.

Lichfield District Council has opted to convert part of Bird Street car park to accommodate more blue badge spaces while the temporary suspension takes place.

The temporary disabled bays in the Bird Street car park

But a spokesperson for J&D Shoe Repairs, based on Bolt Court, said the move was having an impact on business, with many spaces in the car park remaining empty all weekend.

“It’s the passing trade we’re losing out on with people who would park then walk down the alley and have a set of keys cut on impulse.”

J&D Shoe Repairs spokesperson

The temporary measures have also met with criticism from disabled drivers on social media.

Cllr Liz Little, cabinet member of major projects and economic development at the council, said:

“We hope blue badge holders will understand why we are making this temporary change to parking in the city centre.

“It can be difficult to practice social distancing along bustling streets in the heart of our beautiful city centre, and so freeing up some additional space should make it easier for pedestrians to get by safely.

“The extra Blue Badge parking bays at Bird Street car park gives great access to the city centre so are a good alternative.”

Cllr Liz Little, Lichfield District Council

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

Join the Conversation

20 Comments

  1. Having no parking in the centre of town and moving them to bird street car park is of no use what’s so ever as it is now to far for me and others to walk to the bank or the market and close by shops. This is a disaster for me and provides yet again there has been no consultation with disabled people and shows the lack of thought by the council for people disabled.

  2. Drove into Lichfield on Saturday night for our first eat-out restaurant visit since March. Couldn’t find a space on Bird St, couldn’t find a space on Sandford St, gave up and went home totally dejected to eat reheated BBQ leftovers.

  3. Councillor Littler says that “We hope blue badge holders will understand why we are making this temporary change to parking in the city centre.”

    Clearly they do not understand and neither do the majority of people. The council seems to have united just about everyone that this is a stupidly bad decision.

    The only people who think this is a good idea are those who don’t understand what a massive impact this has on disabled people and those who simply are unwilling to understand the difficulties this is causing – which includes the council itself!

    Judging by some comments able bodied people do not want to park too far from the centre of the city, yet feel it is perfectly acceptable for disabled people to do so. They clearly want Bird Street car park preserved for able bodied drivers as they are not prepared to park further away. That is the height of selfishness and ignorance.

    Sadly it seems to be the position adopted by the council and the MP as well.

  4. Forget paying for parking at all, I think Town & Hospital parking should be free, Nearby Swadlincote used free parking for years and its considered a great success in the regeneration of an old ind town,Thier tory councillors are so greedy as Lichfields.

  5. This just shows how little the people who live now in Lichfield think of the people who suffer I am disgusted especially with Michael fabricant so I’m just

  6. this car park is inaccessible for most disabled due to narrow passageways has caused friction with able bodied drivers all under Stealth While shielding. Regarding social distancing Has the EU handout made available to use pavements & bays for businesses?
    Can businesses think before they comment egJ&D people with disabilities are also your customers.

  7. The majority of our shopping is done in Lichfield. I am disabled and have a blue badge, which helps me to park near to shops/market, and carry goods back to my vehicle. Fridays I buy greengrocery from the market, visit bank and as a treat go to Nero’s. I can do this because of nearby parking in Market Square…..not anymore. If I park behind B&M I could not carry the greengrocery back to vehicle….full bags and a walking stick aren’t easy to cope with….maybe those in the Council should try it! …..I strongly feel that disabled people are being discriminated against in Lichfield, by the council….I think that the Covid virus is an excuse to pedestrianise Lichfield totally, like they tried way back in the 60s. The city will become dead, like other towns and cities. Shame.

  8. Fantastic idea and it’s working really well. It’s also a lot safer for both those with disabilities and without to do their shopping in the city centre, not having to look out for cars.
    Those of us with blue badges have more parking spaces in Bird Street car park which is closer to shops such as B&M and others in Market Street.

  9. Only allow disabled persons vehicles and delivery vehicles into the city. Why alter the existing parking arrangements for those with a blue badge? The number of people in the city has significantly reduced, traffic levels are so low that most of the time it’s possible to walk in the road anyway. Reduce the speed limit to 15mph, designate the roads as a shared space between pedestrians, blue badge holders and delivery vehicles.
    Support the local businesses.

  10. This is typical of a Council, surely this is discrimination towards Disabled people they claim it’s short term, Honestly!!!if Lichfeild is not careful they could end up like Tamworth a ghost town increasing parking fees. All l can say is if you want people back shopping in the town centres with thriving businesses free parking for all,and remember Disabled people’s money is as good as anybodies so stop this discrimination.

  11. Councillors were never consulted on this and if we had been I for one would have opposed it. It is essential that we are inclusive of all who want to enjoy the city centre and make use of its facilities. The disabled parking areas have been established for many years and are a great facilitator to those who need access to the town. I don’t think the removal of disabled parking to the outskirts has made a great deal of difference to the social distancing but has detrimented those in greatest need.

    For me the benefits of this do not in any way outweigh the problems it has caused for many. It is also a little offensive to see the elderly and disabled members of our society moved out of the centre like some sort of social problem.

    There have been recent calls by some, not least our MP to completely close off the centre to vehicles and have it fully pedestrianised. This will massively disadvantage disabled people needing to park outside shops or banks, elderly people needing to be dropped off or those needing direct access. It is ill thought out and inconsiderate.

    The majority of the centre is already pedestrianised and the through route provides a vital lifeline to many. I’d urge anyone who objects to complain to their councillor.

  12. This move is discriminatory, ill-conceived and unnecessary, as well as being arguably illegal. Many disabled people will struggle to access city centre businesses (and medical facilities) if they cannot park close by. The former system of mostly pedestrianisation but with disabled access was a reasonable adjustment, this new idea is not. It seems a strange way of encouraging people to come back to the city centre and support businesses by effectively excluding large numbers of them. There is existing government guidance on social distancing and the use of face coverings, so this move is unnecessary. This idiotic idea needs to be challenged and overturned quickly.

  13. The real problem has always been that the hybrid pedestrian system was far too often abused by people without blue badges. No checking or enforcement and too many cars that shouldn’t have been there have now led to those that needed access now losing it.

  14. I think this idea is fabulous,
    How dare you all leaving nasty comments about disabled people,
    Do shopping in the week?
    Disgusting!!!!!
    It is nice to see us having more parking for us,
    I’d love not to be disabled, to be able to walk further
    To be able to park nearer the town centre,
    I say this is a good idea,
    Also if I may say,
    The businesses that say they’re suffering
    My big toe to you, if customers wanted your services that bad then having to walk a little further shouldn’t be a big problem
    Get a grip and support us

  15. The temporary removal of disabled pays in Bore Street is discriminatory and illogical. Surely it’s not too difficult to imagine what it is like for some disabled people who are not able to walk the distance from Bird Street Car Park (where LDC has moved the spaces to) to Bore Street. I doesn’t look to me as if it is that difficult to socially distance when walking along Bore Street. One of the problems is that customers of the excellent Bore Street Bakery don’t act responsibly when queuing. I shop there, and watch as many customers queuing are so unobservant that they fail to keep into the building fronts. So when pedestrians with prams or children approach – those queuing don’t even move in. This would make a difference. The removal of parking bays for blue badge holders is surely unnecessary. LDC ought to reconsider.

  16. I genuinely don’t think there is enough space to keep 2m apart in Lichfield city centre on a busy day. The streets are small and ancient, not built for social distancing. People mostly aren’t wearing face coverings in the street, just in shops because Alexander DePiffle Johnson has told them that’s all they need to do. Something needs to give, and allowing cars into the mix again would just make the situation worse. As CDC said above, there were already too many selfish drivers abusing the system, and we can’t go back to that. Pedestrianise it and be done with it.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *