Bore Street
Bore Street - one of the Lichfield city centre roads being pedestrianised as part of a trial. Picture: Google Streetview

Campaigners calling for on street blue badge parking bays to be reinstated in Lichfield city centre say alternatives are not appropriate.

Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council has launched an 18 month pedestrianisation trial of a number of roads, including Market Street, Conduit Street, Tamworth Street, Breadmarket Street and Bore Street.

As well as barring traffic between midday and 9pm each day, the measures have also seen the removal of on-street disabled parking bays, with drivers advised to use nearby car parks and locations instead.

But a spokesperson for campaigners calling for them to be reinstated told Lichfield Live that the proposed alternatives were not acceptable.

“Is it any wonder that thousands have protested and signed these petitions? The proposed disabled parking at two existing car parks are at 82 metres and 135 metres away and are simply too far for blue badge holders to walk.

“Walking criteria to obtain a blue badge is no more than 50 metres with or without walking aids. The Bird Street car park, behind B&M, is not far short of twice that and the second at Lombard car park is almost three times that distance.”

The council has said the changes would make the city centre “more vibrant and attractive to visitors”.

But campaigners say the options are too limited for blue badge holders.

“While the access at Bird Street during daylight hours can be through B&M itself, after shops close it is necessary to use the alleyway which runs between B&M and Iceland. This is reasonably wide but there is a question mark over lighting during evening hours and it is certainly not considered suitable for a lone person walking from this car park to The Hub or the Guildhall for a concert or other event as it has two blind corners.

“When attention is turned to”The Lombard car park access involves walking along an alley with terrible surfacing and questionable lighting then narrow pavements. Once at the car park it is necessary to negotiate a steep, curved entrance which would challenge any disabled person and their walking aids.

“Wheelchair users and their ‘pushers’ need to have the strength of Geoff Capes to tackle this incline, especially if one has dared to buy a bag of shopping.”

Lichfield District Council says it is giving businesses and blue badge holders the chance to feed back on the pedestrianisation proposals.

A meeting was held last week at the Guildhall with another set to take place on Boley Park in the coming days

A spokesperson for the council said:

“We are keen to hear the views of everyone regarding the trial pedestrianisation.

“The pedestrianisation workshop taking place at Boley Park Community Hall on 9th March is now fully booked but there will be other opportunities for Blue Badge holders and business owners to give their views throughout the trial period.”

Lichfield District Council spokesperson

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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Mr Legs
1 year ago

Here we go again!!! So non of the Blue Badge Brigade ever go to B&M ? Or do they only go in the front of the shop as the rear is to far ?
It’s farcical and let’s hope they push ahead with the ban as planned ?
As it’s been said in the past you cannot expect to park outside every shop ? My dear mother has had a new knee & hip but parks happily behind B&M and uses her folding scooter to get around town ? Is this such hardship? I think not.

John Allen
1 year ago

Oh dear, Mr Legs, and we were getting along so well. Yes, it has been said that people can’t expect to park outside every shop, and it was you who said it, several times. That is not the option being discussed, so please stop trotting this out. There are several parts of the city centre that are fully pedestrianised. I don’t think asking for disabled access to the market square and Bore Street is unreasonable, like there used to be, given the premises that many disabled people need access to. Other people should be prevented from driving through, but that is an enforcement issue, and not the fault of disabled. Many people have highlighted the current access problems, and I understand that 3000 people have signed the petition to reinstate the disabled bays, a significant number given that many others would also wish this but didn’t respond. A reasonable compromise would seem to be required, and it is worth bearing in mind that there are laws on providing suitable disabled access.

Clare Sholl
1 year ago

The obvious solution would be to retain the blue badge parking bays on Bore Street but restrict their use to the hours where access is permitted. This would have no impact on the pedestrianisation during the latter part of the day when traffic is barred from the area, but it would give blue badge users the access they need during the mornings.

I very much hope the Council will use the trial period to find a solution that works for the community as a whole. It is clear there is a great deal of support for taking into account the needs of blue badge holders, and the comments of bullies like ‘Mr Legs’ are in no way representative of the wider community.

Mr Legs
1 year ago

But we cannot keep going on about it John? disabled are still allowed as I understand it within certain times ? It’s not really fair to say 3000 have signed against the ban without there being a count on those wishing it?
Ahhhh we’ll we’ll see what happens

Clare Sholl
1 year ago

It’s heartening to see that so many people have been prepared to put their names to supporting rights for the disabled by signing the petition or by attending a meeting. Everyone, including decision makers, can see that there are a lot of people who are willing to stand up and be counted on this issue.

John Allen
1 year ago

Interesting that there is a news item this very day about the actress Judy Dench lending her support to a similar campaign in York to reinstate disabled parking in the city centre. Like Lichfield, there was a dubious reason given for removing it in the first place.

Mr Legs
1 year ago

Lichfield population is over 100,000 so your 3,000 signatures don’t represent the views of the majority Clare ? Or do we not live in a democracy anymore ? You’re a minority complainer who thinks only about yourself not others which is sad. The council are right to try the scheme and observe the situation which will demonstrate if it’s popular or not… simple

MEJ
1 year ago

Mr Legs is missing the point as usual. His mother is indeed fortunate to have had a replacement knee presumably from the NHS which is supported by most taxpayers, including disabled and able-bodied. She is lucky also to have enough strength to get her scooter out of her car.
Blue badge holders value their independence when visiting essential services and shops. Some have no relatives/carers to assist in getting them out and about and the imposed restrictions could have a severe impact on their health, many more needing places in already overfilled care homes.

George
1 year ago

Population of Lichfield District as of 2021 census was 106,400 Population of Lichfield City, which seems the more relevant figure, was 34,738. https://www.lichfield.gov.uk/Statistics_749.aspx

Do yourself a favour, Mr Legs, and learn how to use a question mark properly. What you write would be easier to read, and be more likely to be taken seriously, if you didn’t keep putting question marks at the ends of sentences which aren’t phrased as, or even seem intended to be, questions.

Sue Donym
1 year ago

Oh no, it’s not fair! I didn’t realise it wasn’t fair. Well, maybe now that you know what it’s like to experience unfairness, you might empathise a bit more with the disabled citizens of Lichfield. And you know what would make life just a little bit easier and more fair for them? Access to disabled parking spaces at all hours of the day.
Because at the end of the day Mr legs, they’re not just blue badge holders, they’re people just like you! Why should we decrease their access, which ought to be the same as yours? Life isn’t fair, Mr Legs, but we do things, nice, kind things to try and make it a bit easier for the people who need it.

Clare Sholl
1 year ago

@’Mr Legs’: Re: “You’re a minority complainer who thinks only about yourself not others”. I am not disabled. The removal of the disabled parking bays has zero impact on my access to Lichfield. I am not thinking about myself; I am thinking about those people who are disabled and how they are being bullied by you.

Re: “your 3,000 signatures don’t represent the views of the majority Clare ?” Where have I said that the 3,000 signatures represent the majority? You claim I am a ‘minority’ complainer. I have said nothing about majorities and minorities. If I were in a minority of one, I would still speak out against your bullying. I don’t need other people to back me up – I know a bully when I see one. If you think you represent the majority, you prove it.

And, yes, we do live in a democracy, one based on the rule of law, which includes legal rights for disabled people. That’s our democracy and their legal rights, whether you like it or not.

Mrs Browne
1 year ago

Mr Legs…. Lichfield population is 38,000 !? Not 100,000
So 3.000 is approx 10%
Unless of course all the New Housing has pushed population up by 62,000? Over the past few years ??

John
1 year ago

Mr Leg, could you please explain how you come by the figures quoted, are you saying there are 100000 people in Lichfield City or are the people living in LDC area.
There are Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

ChrisG
1 year ago

I wonder how many blue badge holders use or even know about the shopmobility centre in the Friday car park?
Might this be a solution for some blue badge holders when the restrictions are applied?
https://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/car-parks/shopmobility/1

Mr Leggs
1 year ago

Ohh dear we have touched some nerves @????George???? There’s that many complaints I’m not sure where to start ? OK Lichfield city might only have 38,000 residents but the 90% who didn’t have a voice on the 1 sided vote might all agree with the ban? Where does that leave the Blue Badge Brigade ban?
It’s called adapting to a change in conditions? You will need to alter your lifestyle to fit in with the new policy simple as that. We all have things we like and dislike and that’s just life lol.
Get yourself a scooter, park /shins B&M, use the morning access times or park on double yellows down Wade Street ? Plenty of options are available…..non of you explain how other city’s operate with a traffic ban now do you?…..

Mr Leggs
1 year ago

@Clare
And, yes, we do live in a democracy, one based on the rule of law, which includes legal rights for disabled people. That’s our democracy and their legal rights, whether you like it or not.
OK if it’s against the law then take the council/highways to court and get the ban lifted asap????George???

Philip
1 year ago

No Mrs Browne…. It is approximately 8%. In fact a little under. Never mind percentages have always been tricky….. and not always informative.

Local lass
1 year ago

These other parking bays are too small to get out of your vehicle. And I’m only little. I have to get my mum out the car half way in and stand her on the side. Then get back in and park. Love to know who measured them. Or was it a case of measure once and done?

Local lass
1 year ago

Any disabled people out there who can wake up, get up, maybe take medication, then shower, eat and dress and still get to Lichfield in time to shop in the morning. Ridiculous.

Clare Sholl
1 year ago

@Mr Leggs: The Council have a duty to ensure disabled people can access services such as shops under the Equality Act. That is the law, and so I am not surprised they are now making some attempts to belatedly consult blue badge holders. I doubt anyone wants this to end up in court, but disabled people are once again in the position of having to assert their legal rights or else have them undermined, and they are well within their rights to do so.

There hasn’t been a “1 sided vote”, so kindly stop telling lies. If you think the other 90% agree with you, do go ahead and prove it.

John Allen
1 year ago

For the benefit of Mr Legs, let me point out something about the law on disability. The same weakness in the Disability Discrimination act was repeated in the Equality Act, in that no body was tasked with enforcing it. If someone is discriminated against about access, they have to take the offending organisation to County Court. This of course is beyond the means of most people, and predictably doesn’t happen. In a civilised society, of course, such legal action shouldn’t be necessary.

Mr Legs
1 year ago

Your logic makes no sense Clare if your disability law is correct then why isn’t every town and city not open to the Blue Badge Brigade?…. I think your talking dribble

John Allen
1 year ago

As a further thought on disability law, local authorities and public bodies are expected under the legislation to lead on implementing the law, so it looks very bad for them if they don’t.

Simon
1 year ago

Mr legs you have no idea about disability or the pain of all kinds it brings I have never not worked till my leg was removed and I had my stroke only then did I see how disabled unfriendly Lichfield was and how little compassion Lichfield people have mr legs you should be ashamed of your self !!!

John Allen
1 year ago

Mr Legs, the only one talking dribble here is you. Clare Sholl is quite correct in what she says about the law, and if you bothered to read my posts about it, they might give you a clue as to why disabled people face an uphill struggle despite the legal rights they have. You might also consider what I said about York, demonstrating that Lichfield is not the only place facing such issues, and no doubt there are others. The law applies to all, irrespective of the numbers of people involved. The concept of reasonable adjustments only comes into play if there are huge expenditures involved, which there would not be if we simply reverted to the disabled access we previously had.

Clare Sholl
1 year ago

Just because someone does not enforce their rights through the courts does not mean they do not have those rights. As John Allen correctly points out, enforcement is an issue. And Lichfield is not the only place where the removal of disabled parking bays is being challenged. It would be so much better for the Council to listen to the views of those negatively impacted and address their concerns rather than risk a costly and time-consuming court case. This council has wasted enough taxpayers money on other failed schemes already. This time, they need to get the scheme right before they make it permanent.

Mr Leggs
1 year ago

I don’t bother reading all the replies John I lost interest in the same pointless replies, let’s just see what the council actually do and I look forward to Clare’s legal challenge. Maybe she could team up with Judi Dench (York news) and get some banners made “Save the Blue Badge Brigade” snag is they would end up being pretty long.
On a compromise why not make the car park back of Lloyds 100% Blue Badge Brigade only parking ? It’s very close to the town centre ??? @ George ???

John Allen
1 year ago

After checking the council website, it appears that no vehicles will be allowed through the market place and Bore Street, including disabled drivers, except registered delivery vehicles, at any time of day once the pedestrianisation trial commences. So the argument often put forward that disabled access will be possible in the mornings is incorrect. Many people may not be aware of this, and may have pinned their hopes on being able to get to premises on a morning. This is not to be. I suggest that people affected by this make their feelings known to LDC as soon as possible.

John Allen
1 year ago

Apparently the council are going to use ANPR cameras to monitor vehicles going through, which does raise the question of why they can’t use these to monitor existing traffic to ensure that only disabled people go through. Delivery vehicles will have to register, so disabled drivers could do likewise. It’s not rocket science, is it?

Tors Langley
1 year ago

Check out york they did it to us in 2021 its held we cant go into town same reason only the towns suffering theres empty shops all over

Mr Legs
1 year ago

ANPR is the way to go my wife spotted a Deliveroo/Just Eat driver parked in the market square collecting from Greggs. A £60 fine will soon put stops to this practice.

Ken H
1 year ago

I don’t know how the council can dodge their responsibilities to the disabled.
But it as shown the uncaring attitude of the council and some people.
I think the disabled have been very good, not parking on yellow lines, but will now be forced to do so, causing chaos.
I don’t know why percentages came into it, except the majority have a responsibility to people who are less able than themselves.
Other councils have tried it but have gone back because of the problems it caused.
When in Lichfield yesterday there was still people driving through and parking, have they got permits over the disabled?
I don’t know how this uncaring council can cause so much animosity in people, but at least we now know there are

Ashley Rabone
1 year ago

I think an investigation should be held to see how many use it that do have a blue badge. Most off the traffic I see going through are taxi, uber, just eats, delivery drivers and short cuts. I bet 90% of traffic don’t even hold a blue badge. Not really fair to target 10%