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The temporary disabled bays in the Bird Street car park

A Lichfield councillor says he is “shocked” after a decision to move city centre disabled parking spaces.

Lichfield District Council has temporarily suspended the blue badge bays in a decision it says will aid social distancing outside shops.

The spaces have been moved into car parks at Bird Street and Lombard Street.

Cllr Colin Ball

But Cllr Colin Ball, who represents the Curborough ward, claimed there had been a lack of consultation over the decision.

“As the Labour vice chairman of the district council’s economic growth, environment and development scrutiny committee I contacted my Conservative chairman, Cllr David Leytham, to ask if he had been consulted by the cabinet member responsible – he hadn’t. 

“You therefore have to add his name to a long list of people the council haven’t bothered to consult and which is costing money every time another change is made.”

Cllr Colin Ball

Lichfield District Council initially moved 42 disabled bays to Bird Street car park before opting to move some to Lombard Street after they lay empty.

The local authority said it would continue to monitor the situation in the coming days and weeks.

Cllr Ball said shoppers and businesses were paying the price of the change in the meantime.

“Lichfield District Council only recently agreed an engagement strategy which was going to ensure ‘our communications and engagement activity is aligned to our strategic narrative and provides the necessary insight to make decisions’ – well that didn’t last long did it?

“Disabled shoppers and businesses are paying the price for this.

“Indeed, I’ve heard of at least one person who is going to shop in a more disabled-friendly town in future because of this decision.”

Cllr Colin Ball

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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15 Comments

  1. If the disabled person had someone with them who could drop them off in the town centre and then go to the parking places it would be ok, but they cannot drive round now to drop off the person – stupid idea and it is discriminating against the disabled person. WHO HAS A LIFE THAT MATTERS

  2. I, as a blue badge holder, will not be shopping in Lichfield again, if I can’t get parked near Market Street Banks and shops. Is this a backdoor guise to completely pedestrian these areas? Goodbye Lichfield.

  3. Disabled people like myself go to town when we need to. Can’t walk more than 100 yards so now can’t get to the bank, the pharmacy, the opticians and the market. Business ees really need all the help and support it can get which alot of retired and disabled people can give. People in that category tend to use the town on weekdays, and the younger people who work full time, use the town at weekends, thus everybody is catered for. Councillor Liz Little thinks differently and should resign as it now seems a lot of her fellow councillors knew nothing of her scheme. As for Bird Street car park, there are plans to build on there thus reducing more parking spaces and then driving more people away to other towns to shop.

  4. I’ve noticed more people dining outside opposite Wilkos, the so called cafe culture in the car parking spaces,I was under the impression that parking spaces were very limited in Lichfield, so why say it’s because of social distancing, I really can’t work it out,it certainly does seem that there’s a hidden agenda here,I think the council are driving people away from the city centre.

  5. I use the city centre disabled bays, particularly as a way of managing things back to the car I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to. This has nothing to do with social distancing. This has everything to do with a comment reported on this page by Michael Fabricant saying he ‘wants a cafe culture’ with tables outside. I will definitely be shopping elsewhere!

  6. Also noticed people outside by wilko. What I dont understand if the city becomes pedestrianised how would cars get to the remaining disabled parking. Also noticed cars driving into their own businesses behind those shops. How would they get there

  7. As a regular visitor who is a blue badge holder and of limited mobility I cannot say I am surprised by this .
    I have noticed both here and in Burton Upon Trent that disabled people are less than welcome and often made to feel as if we are causing problems by being there .
    If we are not welcome in your town or city why not have a sign up saying ” disabled not wanted here “

  8. When there are more conservative councillors than other parties,then there’s no need for A vote ,we need a more balanced system or this will end up being the norm !

  9. Lichfield will become a ghost town as has Lowestoft where I now after moving from Ross on Wye last July for family reasons. I am 73 & do not require Blue sticker as I no longer drive. Most of the popular shops are in the easily execs able retail parks where having a vehicle is essential. It seams to me that the Council are trying to make it as awkward as possible for residents that spent their whole life supporting the town the were born in. The “Yuppie” breed are taking over & the well placed popular cited shops are pandering to their needs for the money they may have in abundance, the local aged person that has supported Lichfield all their life is being penalised because the money they now live on is constricted for their needs, not wants. I realise most Blue badge holders have Mobility scooters these days (as here) but to move essential parking means they would be forever returning to the now distant at is parked elsewhere No wonder so many of the comments I have read are shopping elsewhere. Well have had my little input it is about time the Council listen to the old residents of the town, which is HOME……!!!!!!

  10. The suspension of disabled parking in Lichfield city centre is illegal, immoral and unnecessary. Much of the centre is already pedestrianised, which is fine for those who can walk ok, but there has to be allowance for those who can’t, which there was until the council dreamed up this little gem. No doubt this stems from our MP’s infatuation with a cafe culture – this is England not Spain or the South of France. People are not going to sit outside in the pouring rain, but in the meantime disabled people are excluded. Hardly likely to help businesses recover and win customers from out of town shopping centres.

  11. I don’t have a blue badge but do have a lung condition. I used to park right by b&m because i get breathless walking across the car park. I can’t do that anymore it’s all disabled spaces.

  12. Removing these spaces takes traffic out of Conduit Street, which leaves more room for pedestrians (including disabled people). It is a positive step to take traffic out of a busy city centre and makes it a more pleasing environment. There is sufficient parking in the city centre for those who need it. 20,000 people live within walking distance of the city centre. More should be done to encourage that, leaving parking spaces available for the disabled and those who live too far to walk, rather than reducing parking charges which only encourages people to drive and takes away spaces from those who really need them.

  13. I have a blue badge and struggle to walk great distances, if the disabled spaces are too far from the shops i need to visit i will be forced to either shop on line or go elsewhere so that i can get to the shops i need to visit, this is just another nail in the cofin of local shops

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