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

A councillor says the removal of blue badge parking bays in Lichfield city centre is damaging the local economy.

The on-street spaces have been moved to nearby car parks as part of a pedestrianisation trial.

But the move has already drawn criticism with an online petition launched in a bid to get the disabled parking bays reinstated.

Burntwood Town Council member Cllr Kathy Coe MBE – who uses a wheelchair – said the pedestrianisation changes had left some visitors unable to access the city centre.

“Surely it is not beyond the understanding and capabilities of Lichfield District Council to protect the disabled parking spaces so that those people who are recognised as having mobility difficulties can access the city centre, can go shopping, meet up with friends for a coffee or a meal?

“After all, blue badge holders enjoy going out and socialising too. 

“Trying to find a suitable parking space is a nightmare in Lichfield and I think it damages the local economy too as people become more reluctant to even try to park in a place that meets their needs.”

Cllr Kathy Coe, Burntwood Town Council

Cllr Coe, who has confirmed she will contest seats on both Burntwood Town Council and Lichfield District Council at the local elections in May, said many blue badge holders were being excluded from the city centre by the pedestrianisation changes.

“Eighteen months doesn’t sound so much like a trial period to me but a backdoor way of making it permanent.

“It will certainly be a trial for those of us who will effectively be shut out of the city centre for a year and a half.”

Cllr Kathy Coe, Burntwood Town Council

Lichfield District Council has previously said the trial was being introduced to “make the city centre more vibrant and attractive to visitors”.

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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Irene
1 year ago

Cllr Kathy Coe MBE….reflects our experience with the closing down of disabled parking in Tamworth Street, Conduit Street and the Market square. After the disabled parking was banned in those areas our visits to Lichfield have been far less than they were previously. The banning of disabled parking in Bore Street will make our visits to Lichfield even less.

RFW
1 year ago

Blue badge holders can park on double and single yellow lines for free of which there are many around Lichfield.

Colin Line
1 year ago

Anyone using a wheelchair should be able to use the main car park behind Market Street.
It is not reasonable to expect to be able to park outside every shop.
Lichfield is a compact city and cars need to be cleared from the centre to reduce pollution and danger and enable pavements to be cleared of obstructions like tables chairs and A-boards.
Why is lower Bird Street not included in the trial?

Julie
1 year ago

The disabled parking spaces on Bore Street are still being used…I saw at least fifteen cars parked there on Wednesday this week at approx 2.30pm. So not sure that “The on-street spaces have been moved to nearby car parks as part of a pedestrianisation trial” is correct? Also many cars are still driving through the pedestrian zone when they should not be.

Mpj
1 year ago

The council seems to be ignoring the criteria for owning a Blue Badge in the first place. One of which is the ability to walk a minimum distance carrying shopping! This can be caused by heart,lung or limb problems.
I’m confused as so many buildings are now allowed to be built as retirement complexes.
Surely constructive discrimination?

John Allen
1 year ago

Oh dear, here we go again. RFW – you miss the point: if disabled drivers can’t access the city centre at all, the option of parking on yellow lines is irrelevant, and in any case they can be penalised if by doing so they cause an obstruction. Colin Line – only a small minority of disabled people use wheelchairs, most wanting to retain what limited mobility they do have, and using a wheelchair brings it’s own complications. I see you have picked up the silly argument of expecting to park outside every shop- that is not the issue here. Julie- I seem to recall that the trial is to start towards the end of this month, which might explain what you witnessed. I notice that the ‘workshop’ on this that was postponed last week due to the weather has not yet been rescheduled. It seems that LDC will do what they want despite many objections, aided and abetted by some intolerant people on this forum.

Mr Leggs
1 year ago

can go shopping, meet up with friends for a coffee or a meal?”
I am failing to see how parking in Bore Street etc makes doing the above any better or worse than parking behind B&M etc? As pointed out there is ample parking available and miles of double yellow lines to use. Don’t forget those with other non physical handicaps are also Blue Badge Brigade holders ? Are you now saying only those with physical handicaps can use the bays ? Sounds like discrimination to me?
Bring on the ANPR cameras and let’s rake in some money

Johnneo
1 year ago

Julie, the present pedestrian zone has never been enforced and my prediction is the new one won’t be either!

Chris
1 year ago

I think it is much better in the centre of Lichfield now it is pedestrianised. Aside for all the cars driving through it of course. And all the cars parked in it. Apart from all the cars pedestrianisation is brilliant.

Dave (Ursa)
1 year ago

I cant go into the city without being fined. The sort of silly thinking I have come to expect. Roll on the next election. when we can rid ourselves of this daft bunch.
.

Lesley
1 year ago

Cllr Kathy Coe – the voice of reason. We used to visit Lichfield at least 3 times a week during the day (usually to eat) plus in the evening to attend the Garrick. Now go into Lichfield once every 3 – 4 weeks as it’s virtually impossible to find anywhere to park during the day. Most wheelchair users need space behind &/or at the side of their car to get into their wheelchair. A lot of the car parks are on a hill so useless for a manual wheelchair user. Lichfield treats it’s veterans very badly & I hope they never have to be a wheelchair user in the future & have to face this total disrespect & thoughtlessness.

Citizen Smith
1 year ago

Personally, I’m in favour of pedestrianising the centre (and I live in the pedestrianized zone) however, this project has been mismanaged from the get go: hardly any consultation, woeful communication and an absolutely rubbish execution of it. And absolutely nothing appears to have changed in terms of volume of traffic. Way to go, guys!

John Allen
1 year ago

Mr Legs/Leggs, it might be helpful if you read articles and comments properly., re access to yellow lines. Or are you now saying that people can expect to park outside every shop using the yellow lines? As for outlying carparks such as B&M, are you aware of the criteria for getting disability benefits and blue badges re walking distances? There are cafes on Bore Street, but none in the carparks the last time I looked. And where on earth do you get the idea that Cllr Coe says that only people with physical impairments can use bays (although they will clearly benefit those with mobility problems the most)? And once again, it seems that blue badge holders are getting the blame for the other idiots driving through. The original system would have worked fine if it had simply been enforced.

Jon Povey
1 year ago

what percentage of Lichfield residents are blue badge holders?

a quick google search clearly shows town centres which are pedestrianised have a benefit to the economy

clearly the city is for everyone. Creating an environment which is safe for children, cyclists, disabled and also drives the economy is essential. Businesses must be able to have outside areas to trade. As the warmer weather is on its way it’s essential the trial is given a chance.

Andrew Jackson
1 year ago

Jon Povey you clearly haven’t been to Walsall. Pedestrianisation has killed the nighttime economy there as it is a no-go zone when there are no passing cars.

Daytime is fine if executed properly, but until 9pm, seriously?

Lesley, to my knowledge only one of the six or seven city centre car parks have a slope, let alone being described as hilly. Bird Street is pancake flat and effectively in the centre. Don’t detract from valid arguments by inventing new topography!

Pat Derry
1 year ago

You are all missing the point there isn’t enough disabled parking spaces to start with lichfield needs more spaces not take them away

Mr Legs
1 year ago

John Allen I cannot comment on the other non Blue Badge Brigade as they shouldn’t be using the town centre full stop. It’s the BBB users who are complaining not the Deliveroo guys ?
You are short sighting thinking Lichfield is the only city in the country who has or is going to ban users including BBB from their centres ?
Do these BBB users never go to Tamworth? You need to accept the fact this is going ahead and anyone affected by the new scheme will also have to do the same. It’s getting boring listening to the same complaints and the council have made provisions where possible at the car parks to help reduce the impact on those affected. Least no one can say they don’t know what’s happening lol well those who read this site and that must include the 3000 people who signed the petition?
Let’s hope they dont complain to much at the fixed penalty notice when they arrive?

Rob
1 year ago

Once again a city centre today full of shoppers (so no lack of business) and yet we see cars working their way through pedestrians. How can anyone tell me that is safe.

Gail Doolan
1 year ago

Unfortunately Lichfield as a small city has insufficient parking for all. I know of a few people who would have looked to acquire and set up a business in the city but due to the limited public parking chose other areas. It’s a pity that the council did not utilise the boarded area opposite the train station for additional parking and extra revenue instead of leaving it vacant for several years. My mother was disabled using a wheelchair and had she been alive now would not have had issue parking within any of the designated areas around the centre.