The bus station in Lichfield
The bus station in Lichfield

Plans are continuing to redevelop the bus station area in Lichfield – but talks are underway over a new location in the city centre.

The details have been confirmed by Lichfield Civic Society who have been part of discussions over the Birmingham Road Site proposals.

Regular ‘sounding board’ meetings have been held by Lichfield District Council with organisations and individuals to look at how the development on the former Friarsgate land may progress.

Initial plans saw the bus station removed, sparking concerns from residents.

But a spokesperson for Lichfield Civic Society says there have been reassurances at the meetings that a bus station will remain in the Lichfield city centre

“We cannot at this stage share all we know as that could interfere with important negotiations.

“We can, however, say that Lichfield District Council plans to move the bus station, but it intends that the new one will still be in a central location.”

Lichfield Civic Society spokesperson

Other discussions have centred around the future of other buildings on the Birmingham Road Site, including the local authority’s own offices.

Plans are already afoot to create a new business incubator hub in part of the council offices.

The civic society spokesperson said:

“This will provide mostly office space for small – possibly “start-up” – businesses and will provide a source of future income for the council to compensate for some of the cuts imposed by central government on local authorities.

“There are also some listed buildings, which form part of the council complex. Lichfield District Council proposes that these, too, will act as a source of income.

“The council is trying to find an educational institution to rent the Master’s House and, possibly, have shared use of the former Grammar School.

The Grammar School building is, of course, currently used as the council chamber. It will probably continue to be used for council meetings, and the civic society will strongly urge Lichfield District Council keep it for this use.

“Access to this historic building must be retained for the citizens of Lichfield.”

Lichfield Civic Society spokesperson

Some plans for the land on the Birmingham Road Site into a cinema may need to be revisited if a proposal to convert the former Debenhams store goes ahead.

Lichfield District Council and the new owners of the Three Spires Shopping Centre have embarked 0n a joint project exploring the possibility, but say a number of operators have already shown interest.

But it would mean a rethink on the Birmingham Road Site project which initially proposed a new cinema to sit on land where the multi-storey car park currently sits.

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  1. If only there was a patch of land, covered in tarmac, near to the City centre and the railway. Wouldn’t it be marvellous to have such a transport interchange in such a convenient central spot? Oh….

    Just leave it where it is! It doesn’t take a genius to have a quick think about the city centre and realise there is nowhere that would work better. And how about turning the adjacent Friarsgate wasteland into a grassed area with loads of trees as a central oasis. How pleasant would that be as a welcoming gateway? It would help with the recently discussed biodiversity emergency and the declared climate change emergency.

    I despair.

  2. @Joanne Grange – completely agree. If a cinema is going into Three Spires anyway, turn this site into a little entrance park to Lichfield. What a refreshing change it would be to create some new green space rather than swallowing it up incessantly.

  3. Lichfield councilors couldn’t run a knees up in a pub, how much did current bus station refurb cost

  4. What was the cost of the recent road resurfacing and refurbishment of the bus station? Who approved this and did they know about the proposed plans to find an alternative site? The mind boggles at the planning ineptitude and waste of resources!

  5. Something smells very fishy indeed here.

    First we are told that the bus station needs to move to accommodate a cinema. Now that the cinema is proposed elsewhere, we find the bus station still needs to moved to accommodate some unknown alternative, but nothing can be disclosed due to ‘important negotiations’.

    Of course, no doubt the real reason is that the bus station isn’t generating the council any direct income. But you only need to go and stand there for 30 mins and you will see buses bring hundreds of people a day into the city to work and shop. There is no other conceivable location where this activity could be accommodated at the same scale that would be more convenient than this space. To remove it will make bus travel less attractive at a time when we need to encourage many more people to use public transport, not less.

    No doubt by the time these secret plans are revealed, deals will already have been struck and it will be too late for the public, who own this land, to have any real influence over decisions.

    The Council must note there is lots of public interest in what happens here and ensure that there is full transparency, otherwise there is risk of costly and time-consuming Judicial Review.

    Shocking, but I fail to be surprised.

  6. There are many reasons why the demand for petrol and diesel should be suppressed. Cheap, frequent, convenient, electrically powered public transport is one way to do it. A centrally located bus station is the first essential ingredient for the effective delivery of an efficient public transport system. Half-baked deals with dodgy developers must not be allowed to undermine the target of a sustainable future. The current site of the bus station provides ready access to the city centre and is as close to the railway station as is practicable. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

  7. Of course the real reason is that the developers won’t touch the Friarsgate site because having a bus station next to any new residential reduces the potential value of the residential properties. Smelly noisy buses and undesirable users is the unspoken.

    Which means to make the site viable the bus station has to go to attract redevelopment.

    I would imagine this will be sold as an improvement as having bus stops on pavements along streets brings footfall to those locations, as other towns do. Which has some merit in the argument to be fair.

    Would be interesting to know how many rail users interchange to bus. My gut feeling is that both modes generally serve separate markets and users, at least to some extent, although not exclusively.

  8. Why has money been spent on the bus station if plans are afoot to move it?
    Stop wasting OUR money and leave it where it is!
    The idea of an open green space on the garage I used which was stupidly replaced with mount Rubble is a good one

  9. Could use that bit of land that’s been stood for years where Kennings / Ford garage use to be.
    Or move the train station too when they find a new location

  10. I have to agree with Joanne Grange and most of the other contributors. There is no better place for a bus station than where it is now. Any move to a different location would be detrimental to Lichfield. My family use the buses quite a lot and sometimes even interchange with the railway. We also use the old multi-storey car park (more than any other car park), which is in the most convenient location for the theatre, the shops and the station. I don’t understand why some councillors say it’s not suitable for bigger modern cars; the spaces there are wider than any other car park I know, and big cars have been around for a very long time. I suspect some have a hidden agenda.

  11. I’m also grateful to Lichfield Civic Society for bringing this information to our notice, but I’m puzzled that the Council itself is not keeping people informed and the talk of “negotiations” is rather ominous. Should we not be entitled to know who the Council is negotiating with and what they are negotiating? It’s our money they’re spending, but they seem firmly intent on ignoring what the residents of the district want.

  12. Joanne Grange speaks common sense here – I have said many times in the past to just plant trees and create a welcoming green entrance to the city. It fits a ‘green’ agenda, and who knows locals could even help plant trees – that’ll save a bit of money.

  13. The only place they need to move the bus station to is CLOSER TO THE TRAIN STATION. Everyone knows that an integrated public transport system is vital to the prosperity of any town or city. The car park outside the station could easily be transformed into a bus station. If anyone is in doubt just take a look at Amsterdam central station, it should be used as a blue print in how to design a transport system.

  14. And what has been said before; put the leisure centre pool on Friars gate and amazingly right next to a local transport interchange thus saving Stychbrook Park. Who would have thought? But then we have a non engaged set of Councillors who always know best and still fail to listen to residents.

  15. I would join other correspondents in suggesting that the bus station stays put. Its location continues to be the most sensible position for pedestrian access into the city and linking with the train station opposite.
    Whatever is chosen for the old Kennings site should in my view be low level in keeping with the ‘open’ look of its surroundings, as anything like a multi-storey apartment block would stick out like a sore thumb. I very much like the idea of a green space in this location anyway as suggested by others.

  16. This whole subject has played out to now stink of LDC having an hidden agenda, I wouldn’t be surprised if this links to maximising the value of the 61% distribution of the Birmingham Road Site to residential property. They’ve invented the problem that they’re then trying to solve, they must take us all for mugs.

  17. How much closer to the train station and the city centre could the bus station be?

    Public transport needs to be linked to promote its usage, to be able to cover longer distances by train, then complete last or first local leg of the journey on buses with timetables in some sort of synchronization.

    As an associated issue, the tickets for the public transport should cover the train and bus legs of the journey.

    Only think missing from the bus station is clear information on what goes from where…. Planning permission denied for that if I remember correctly.

    Let’s not fill our city centre with buildings, open green spaces are essential.

    Here’s a great suggestion – don’t move the bus station, it’s already well located between the train station and shopping/city centre.

  18. Moving the bus station is absurd, its in the main drag, next to a train station and on the side of town. There is quite literally no better replace….. Move the tip instead, that’s a better idea and will make many more people happy.

  19. I catch a bus from burntwood every week to lichfirld then walķ across the road to catch a train to reddich the bus station needs to stay where it is for conveniance,want changes put more toi.ets in the bus station,coach loads of tourists get dropped off and have 2 toilets ive seen the long queus waiting,the lady who cleans the toilet is very good but even she cant be there when a man comes out of toilet a lady goes in to urine all over the seat and cant use it,this happened to me,seperate toilets should be bought back,people who make the p.ans dont have to use them

  20. Unless there are plans to move Lichfield City train station, moving the coach station from it’s existing location would be a huge mistake, there is a natural physical link between the two forms of transport presently. This surely must continue to complement a favourable transport location hub and I believe it works well, re-siting either would create challenges for those users with disabilities/Mobility issues, this consideration appears to be in contrast with other cities where their is an aspiration to have transport hubs closely aligned to each other

  21. Where else is there in Lichfield close to shops ,bus station and proposed cinema.
    About time Lichfield council thought about the residents needs instead of development.
    Accessibility is more important and it’s surrounded by history and historic buildings extend it into a park where it’s pleasing to the eye instead of ugly hoardings .

  22. Leave it as it is. It’s in the most convenient place to just walk into town or cross over the road to get a connecting train. I totally agree with A Hughes regarding the 2 toilets. I have had to use one of those toilets and don’t want to again thanks! The previous toilets may have been old but they were always clean. Every few weeks I meet a friend in Walsall. The toilets at the bus station there are always clean. Dare I say Lichfield council could learn something from Walsall council.

  23. Please let common sense prevail………just leave the Bus Station where it is now, convenient for commuters using rail, central position in town, footfall leads onto town very well…….what more can I say ?

  24. @Chris Hamilton, totally agree with you, myself and my disabled partner frequently use the bus from Burntwood and then the train toBirmingham, we also use the bus to come into Lichfield. Just leave it where it is @LDC you’ve been trying to get rid of it for 20 years so there is obviously nowhere else to put it. We don’t need anymore retirement apartments in our city centre!!!!!

  25. We can trust the Council. of course. Their previous, years-long, deliberations about the ‘Friarsgate development’ led to viable businesses being needlessly bulldozed to facilitate the creation of the mound of earth and hoarding camouflage now present. The ‘bus station’s present useful location will, of course, be no barrier to forward thinking. What can possibly go wrong?

  26. Many of us commute by Bus then Train to work in Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham City. Please leave Bus Station where it is.
    Is the intention to move Bus Station and Build yet more Houses.? There is some underlying reason on the LDC agenda already decided. We are the Tax Payers and also pay Salaries for LDC…why NO consultation with Us.

  27. Someone name a central location the bus station could be moved to, other than the wasteland monument to the council’s past incompetence which is literally next to where the bus station currently is.

    People need to stop suggesting putting a leisure centre on that wasteland. It’s obviously not a large enough space.

  28. For heaven’s sake why can’t the morons who unfortunately make up Lichfield District Council just get something right for a change? There is nothing wrong with the current layout/ location of the city bus station so just leave it where it is- or maybe that is too sensible.

  29. It would not surprise me, if the bus station did not move to the former GKN site.

    The council have already planned to build houses over every inch of the Friarsgate site and the current bus station.

  30. The council never ceases to amaze.
    There is nowhere better for the bus station to be, just leave it where it is.
    With some modern boards to tell commuters when their bus is due. Remember that lunacy?
    They seem obsessed with this area for wrong reasons with wrong outcomes.

  31. LDC have there own agenda for the bus station and what ever the Council Tax Payers say the Council’s opinion will prevail.

  32. I am a bit surprised at the Civic Society stance on this. They normally adopt a conservative stance on such issues. Why can’t they explain the councils determination to move this service to somewhere other than the ideal site it currently occupies? Who exactly are they representing? As an N.G.O. what terms of reference gives them authority to negotiate on behalf of citizens?

  33. Philip – the civic society are not negotiating; the council are. They are reporting back after attendance at ‘sounding board’ events organised by LDC for residents, businesses, organisations etc

  34. Ross… Thank you for that clarification. They are an organisation I have always had respect for. In these changing times you can never be quite sure who you can trust.

  35. The best place for the bus station is where it is or if the Lichfield councilors have their way it will still be argued untill 2099 or they might come up with ideas like instead of having cars in the park we could have buses in the park 😂😂😂

  36. Ross…. well said “They are reporting back after attendance at ‘sounding board’ events organised by LDC for residents,”…. so the Tax Payers are being consulted. why do they not attend instead of just winging on here? Having the bus station away from the station and having commuters walk through the centre of Lichfield, where local people work in local shops. Would in not assist the local economy? or am I just thinking of simple business logistical philosophy?

  37. The Council’s wish was perhaps signalled some time ago, when they declined to authorise an electronic information panel for the ‘bus station. As usual, any move will be seen to have been decided well before any public notification.

  38. @Fuglysuck, perhaps because such events are so poorly advertised? I had no idea it was taking place, as I suspect is also the case for most people in the area. It’s probably intentional, so they can claim there was a consultation and people don’t care, so LDC can do what they like.

  39. I can only agree with the objection to move the bus station.
    The greed of LDC to generate income at the cost of residents well being is unreasonable, but inevitable.
    LDC is receiving huge amounts of rates from the explosive residential building programme, they need to be more mindful of the need to add infrastructure, and certainly not destroy a facility that will benefit the additional thousands of new residents.

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