Work is taking place to ensure long term changes to disabled parking provision in the city centre strikes the right balance, the leader of Lichfield District Council has said.

Disabled parking bays coned off on Tamworth Street in Lichfield city centre during the pandemic

Controversy has surrounded a decision to relocate on street blue badge spaces to nearby car parks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr Doug Pullen has previously spoken of a desire to see cars “pushed away” from the city centre – and the Conservative leader has now said he wants to space freed up for cyclists and pedestrians as part of long term plans to revamp the city centre.

But he insisted work was taking place to ensure disabled drivers could still be catered for.

“We are committed to keeping the same number of disabled bays but they may need to be relocated to other locations.

“We are bringing in AccessAble to make sure we’ve got the balance right – and we will be consulting fully with those impacted.

“Lichfield must be a welcoming city, but there will always be competing needs and demands.

“But we want to ensure we have as much evidence as possible to make the right decisions.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Pullen said he hoped by improving walking and cycling provision across the city centre it would cut the number of vehicles needing to seek out paring spaces.

Doug Pullen

“I want to free up space in the city for cyclists and pedestrians in order to make it attractive for those who live nearby to walk or cycle in.

“If you do have a car and have to drive in then it should be a safe, pleasant walk to access the areas you need to.

“If it isn’t suitable for you to walk then accessing blue badge spaces or parking spaces in general should be as easy as possible.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

The installation of variable messaging displays demonstrating where car parking spaces are available around Lichfield are expected to be one of the first elements of the council’s city centre masterplan to come to fruition.

But after proposals for digital displays within the bus station were rejected due to concerns over them being sited in the conservation area, Cllr Pullen has said he will push for change.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to find spaces – if we need t fix policies internally to make this happen then we will do that.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

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23 Comments

  1. The answer is simple Mr Pullen. Reinstate the disabled parking bays in the market square. Restrict vehicle access through the market square to blue badge holders, and delivery drivers at fixed times, and enforce this. I would certainly welcome improved facilities for cyclists with a joined up approach to cycle paths and more secure cycle parking.

  2. The vast majority of blue badge holders really do need parking spaces that are a short distance from the places they are visiting. Please reinstate the Market Square places!

  3. The reason people are entitled to blue badges is that they can only walk a limited distance. Disabled bays in the market square ensure blue badge holders have access to city centre amenities e.g. banks and the markets. Locating disabled badge parking further away has meant in effect banning disabled people from the centre of town because the alternative parking places are too far away. Please reinstate them . I felt discriminated against and de valued when I found I could no longer access the centre of my own town.

  4. Two observations. Firstly, the council has gone to extremes to encourage an older age demographic for Lichfield. So many rest homes and more in the pipeline. Does Cllr. Pullen envisaged this generation dashing around on their bikes? Perhaps blocking the pavements with their motorised pushchairs, or touring around in their cars looking for none existing parking places? He and the council do not have a concept of cause and effect. They just go on creating their own problems.
    Now about the cyclists who are going to negate the need for cars (and parking). Will they be riding in to shop? How will they carry the purchases. Dose it never rain in Lichfield? Are not the city roads too narrow for cycle lanes? Are all visitors coming here on their bikes? What age demographic do they consider cycling applies to? Is there enough hospital provision?
    Cynically I suspect they are just trying to free up parking areas for housing developments. Well, when public transport was superseded by personal transport it created logistical problems. All areas have had to contend with this so stop pretending it is not still relevant.

  5. We visited Lichfield every week for shopping but now that the blue badge parking has been removed I cannot walk the distance to the shops that we require shopping from.So disappointed that disabled are no longer catered for!

  6. I, for one, welcome the removal of the market Street parking spaces and hope this is permanent (you can’t restrict to Blue Badge only drivers as residents like me have to access their homes on streets such as Dam Street). However, what happened to the 10 or so spaces in Lombard Street (opposite The Old Picture House development) that were ideal city centre location for disabled drivers? Sold off?

  7. Cllr Pullen I do hope that one day you are never disabled and cannot walk long distances. I struggle day in and day out with arthritis in my hips,knees and ankles. I try to walk everyday to try to keep being able to walk a little before I become exhausted through effort of walking. I really do not wish to use a mobility scooter…which are no longer available to hire in Lichfield now or a wheelchair as I do enjoy my freedom to go round town on my own without having to have someone stuff me in a wheelchair and be shoved round and ignored by most people
    I rely on disabled blue badge spaces as I live on the outskirts of Lichfield so I have to drive into town as I cannot walk from my home to town (about 1 mile). However just lately I cannot get into town due to the very limited disabled parking. The bus service is not disabled friendly and taxi’s cost a fortune. Will the council be putting on a disabled friendly bus, for all ages, abilities and be low cost so the disabled can get into town still. Plus the pick up point and drop off point be in town so we do not have to walk miles and stand round in the cold or rain. Will it have seating at each pick up point as well as many disabled people cannot stand for long periods of time or are we expected to ride bicycles into town with our disabilities. Has cllr Pullen never heard of the disability discrimination legislation.
    I often wonder how disabled friendly Lichfield would be if all councillors were forced to be disabled for a set period of time say about a month. Then given a list of tasks to do in and around town. I bet there would be some swift changes.
    Plus has Cllr Pullen ever been knocked down by someone on a bicycle going at full speed when he has been walking. I do wonder

  8. Lichfield will be joining the vast majority of other towns and cities in being traffic-free and will be a lot safer for it. The current situation is a mess.

  9. Having just received a parking ticket in the centre because we did not see the sign say bays were suspended,5 cars were also parked there on that day!I won’t be shopping in Lichfield anymore,this is a shame as I like the shopping area,in Tamworth I can park in the shopping centre car park,so sorry Doug you have lost our custom!

  10. As a blue badge holder please give us our spaces back in town. Even moving them a short distance out of town can have a big impact on weather people can go out or not and access the services they need. There is alot of traffic in town but it’s delivery drivers. Having disabled parking allows us to be independent. Getting to the bank,dentist and optitions is important to our care. When you are only able to walk a few yards it’s impossible to get out when parking is out of town. If parking is too far may be scooters will need to be provided but then who wants a town full of scooters.

  11. My daughter has cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user as she has been unable to walk since birth .. Personally I hate having to negotiate the pedestrian area between Tamworth Street around the market square to reach the disabled bays in Bore Street .. this seems ludicrous to me .. and with people stepping out without warning into the path of the car ( which they are perfectly entitled to do .. it is their right of passage after all .). does nothing for my nerves .. the car park at the back of B&M seems to be the obvious place to re-site an adequate number of disabled parking bays ( not the pitiful number that exists at the moment ) … as long as the Council have no plans to redevelop this car park for yet more housing !!

  12. I regularly visit lichfield but its inconvenient now carnt park in street going though town centre & around market & have to park in bore street to far for me to walk & I have to use a Walker & iv bone to bone in knees it’s not on us disabled need our disabled parking back so banks & shopping are not so far to get to & not just in bore street

  13. At the moment walking and shopping (hardly any shops anyway) in Lichfield is a nightmare. You don’t know when a car or delivery lorry is going to come through, especially by Boots. Disabled drivers must be accommodated but Market Street is a bottle neck anyway so it has to be else where or restricted more than it is.

  14. Cannock, Tamworth, Rugeley, Stafford, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Hinckley, Nuneaton, Burton are all pedestrianised. Can anyone tell me why Lichfield should be any different?

  15. Lichfield is such an uninviting place disabled parking moved from where is is , will not benefit the disabled, and they dompay taxes as well the badge isn’t free it provides convenience he’s a useless council leader

  16. You are all wasting your breath trying to talk about disabled parking in Lichfield, just SHOP ELSEWHERE, the Council are not going to change their minds about blue badges, only people who CANNOT WALK know how difficult they have made our lives. I have tried my best, but have now given up.

  17. Bring back the disabled parking spaces around the market square. To walk from the car park at the back of b and m is far too far for the disabled.

  18. My self and my wife were regular visitors to Lichfield mainly because of disabled parking allowing my wife who is disabled to access the shops ect
    But know it must be that the councillors ignore the disabled discrimination law
    I feel you don’t want to encourage people to spend money in Lichfield
    The trades and shops are loosing money because of these feeble ideas any way I guess Tamworth and other towns are clapping there hands as that’s where we shop now
    Seeing as we are no longer welcome in Lichfield
    Please remember too you have got to grow old and hopefully not disabled
    John,s

  19. Parking in Lichfield
    You are creating the problem yourselves, putting barriers on the car parks, how will disabled manage,
    It depends on what system you use for paying, leaning out of car to get a ticket, finding a machine to pay not very friendly for disabled.
    Most parking areas not large enough to justify the cost of erecting barriers and the noise some of them make.
    You thought you were going to make a lot of money out of ticket machines on car parks, but traffic wardens riding round must take a big chunk of the revenue, is that why you want to change it, but still got to be manned 24/7.
    Freeing up the centre for cyclists, who wants cyclists in the pedestrian area, I’ve nearly been knocked down twice by them.
    More money being wasted on AccessAble to look at it

  20. All cars should be banned from the Market street, it’s a nightmare having to dodge out their way as a pedestrian, especially the electric cars that are silent. Plenty of disabled parking can be provided in nearby car parks and Bore St.

  21. I take it you are not disabled Roger, or you would appreciate the difficulties disabled people are encountering in Lichfield city centre.

  22. From the point of view of a cyclist, there is no need to cycle through Lichfield city centre. Once I reach the pedestrianised area, I generally get off and walk and I think other responsible cyclists would/should do the same. What cyclists need are safe ways to get to the city centre rather than sharing busy/dangerous roads with other vehicles. I sympathise with those who complain about inconsiderate riders who cycle dangerously through crowds of pedestrians. The suggestion of more disabled bays in the B&M car park seems a sensible one to me, but I also see no problem in allowing genuinely disabled, considerate drivers back into the city centre.

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