More than 1,700 people have now signed a petition to prevent public space in Lichfield being used for a new road junction.

The junction at the A51 and The Friary. Picture: Google Streetview

Staffordshire County Council has drawn up proposals for a filter lane linking the A51 and The Friary at the Bowling Green island.

The junction improvements would mean part of Festival Gardens being lost to make way for the new road.

The petition, set up by Katie Smith, has now seen hundreds sign up in opposition.

“Lichfield is a beautiful city, full of green spaces which have been so important to us all now more than ever.

“This move will result in the irrevocable loss of trees, shrubs and parkland with the net result of saving motorists a few minutes on their commute.

“We must not allow this proposal to go ahead.

“If you live in or visit Lichfield, please sign this petition to let the council know how much our city’s green spaces mean to us – once they are gone, they are gone.

“These spaces are home to wildlife, are safe spaces for children and adults to walk and cycle, not to mention how amazing they look all year round – let’s keep them safe for future generations.”

Katie Smith

Lichfield City Council – which owns the land – is currently seeking views on the plans.

“The transport assessment supporting the St John’s residential development identified a requirement for an increase in traffic capacity at the A51 Western Bypass and Friary junction.

“The preferred option consists of a segregated left turn lane.

“Several trees would need to be removed to facilitate these improvements. Initial discussions with Staffordshire County Council confirm replacement specimens to be planted nearby will be funded if the scheme progresses.

“The city council is consulting with residents and requesting further discussions with the county council as to the appropriateness of this proposal and its evidence base prior to making any firm commitment on the matter.”

People can email their views to enquiries@lichfield.gov.uk by 9am on 6th April.

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13 Comments

  1. A51 will become a vital root to take the spill of HS2 passengers near Rougele village in Staffordshire main station. inevitable future

  2. Well done Katie Smith for fighting to preserve what precious green space Lichfield has left. If you haven’t done so yet..please sign her petition.

  3. Futile effort I’m afraid. The council does not and has never listened to and acted on the views or opinions of its residents. Its a shame to see this go, I used to enjoy walking through this part every weekend with my family.

  4. And what is the point of this filter lane? So someone can get home for their tea five minutes earlier than without it?

    I have found congestion at the Bowling Green island slows traffic on the A51 Western bypass, thereby making it safer to both travel along and cross, as I sometimes do as a pedestrian. In fact, a couple more pedestrian islands installed along the Western Bypass would slow vehicles more, making it safer still.

  5. This would wreck the approach to Lichfield and view of the Cathedral, we are supposed to be a Cathedral City and encourage even more speeding approaching the junction!!!!

  6. Disgraceful! Destroying Lichfield’s character yet again. More trees and green space lost. Wake up LCC!!

  7. Neither this article nor the petition provide any facts as to what may be lost nor provide any link to any. That makes for a weak argument.

  8. Why would anyone which to speed up the entrance into the city via ‘The Friary’ through to the Swan island when the continuation of ‘The Friary’ has a 20mph restriction, further more the footpaths on either side of ‘St Johns Street’ are so narrow and has a pedestrian crossing at the junction of ‘Bird St’ and near the junction of ‘Frog Lane’. Furthermore pedestrians have no crossing priority at the traffic lights at the junction of ‘Birmingham Road/Upper St Johns Street’.

  9. While I don’t often drive down this route I walk between the Darwin Park estate and the City centre almost every day (either going through the underpass of crossing at the pedestrian crossing at the end of Queen Street) and I can’t recall seeing traffic queues leading to the Bowling Green island (even when traffic was at pre-pandemic levels). I therefore question why this is even necessary.

    I do wonder whether some of the commentators have actually looked at the plans – the area of land being used is pretty small and, I would have thought would have next to no impact on people using the gardens and certainly would not “wreck the view of the cathedral”.

  10. I would suggest that the Highway’s Department would be better employed using their time and money reapairing the roads that we have, to bring them up to a safe standard. Either that or they market the potholes as a dodgem fair ride!

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