Councillors have said that the use of outdoor seating in Lichfield city centre must be balanced against the impact on drivers using on street spaces in future.
The comments came in a task group report to an overview and scrutiny committee meeting at Lichfield District Council on Thursday (16th September).
A debate over parking for blue badge holders has taken place since a number of city centre spaces were relocated to nearby car parks to allow for outdoor seating areas to be introduced in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
The task group report said that the use of former bays needed to be “balanced” against the impact on drivers – but added that the Friary Inner car park had been recognised as a “good location” for spaces in future.
“It was discussed how the introduction of café pavement licensing had impacted these users and would continue to in the future.
“It was noted and agreed that outdoor dining had enhanced the city centre but it was felt that the bigger picture on parking needed to be balanced against this.”Lichfield District Council task group report
The task group discussions were held as part of a review of the car parking strategy in the city centre masterplan.
The report also revealed that the prospect of introducing schemes such as park and ride were unlikely to work given the geographic features of Lichfield.
“Park and ride was considered and it was felt that Lichfield city was a more compact area with the out of centre areas being much closer than other places that run these schemes, such as York or Worcester, and so it was questioned if this would actually be of benefit.
“It was suggested that it could be useful during peak times of the events calendar including festivals.”Lichfield District Council task group report
“Did not have the level of detail expected
The task group also said it had “concerns” over the a lack of detail being used to underpin some aspects of the draft parking strategy.
“Members felt that it was more a broadbrush evaluation and review document and suggested that it be referred to as such to prevent any potential disappointed expectations.
“It was discussed that there was little data shown on where, what and why people came and parked in the city and therefore it was difficult to know if the strategy was a correct one.
“There were concerns that the document, as produced by consultants, did not have the level of detail expected with no options included.
“It was reported that this was a high level document which would then bring forward the action plan of works, projects and business cases to be undertaken.”Lichfield District Council task group report