A pedestrianised street in Lichfield city centre

A hybrid version of plans to pedestrianise Lichfield city centre could be introduced, a council report has revealed.

Restrictions have been placed on a number of city centre roads as part of an 18-month trial.

The move drew criticism from some quarters though due to the changes also seeing the removal and relocation to nearby car parks of on-street blue badge parking bays.

But a report by Cllr Janice Silvester-Hall, cabinet member for high streets and visitor economy, to Lichfield District Council’s overview and scrutiny committee said a rethink was now being considered.

“As a result of feedback received via consultation, the proposal is to introduce a hybrid pedestrianisation.

“If introduced, the proposal would see part-time pedestrianisation with access allowed to blue badge holders and permit holders on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at any time.

“On Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays there will be pedestrianised as per the current trial.

“If this is to be introduced, a new experimental Traffic Restriction Order would be implemented with a new six-month consultation period so that feedback and objections from all users and stakeholders can be recorded and formally considered as part of the revised scheme.”

Cllr Janice Silvester-Hall, Lichfield District Council

The report said that businesses attending a feedback workshop had given a “favourable” response to the new proposals.

Cllr Silvester-Hall added that any impact on visitor numbers to the city centre are as result of pedestrianisation was being examined too.

“Footfall within the city centre continues to be monitored with statistics taken from counters on Tamworth Street, Dam Street, Market Street and Bird Street.

“While the statistics show that the footfall figures in the city are not yet back to pre-Covid levels, it does show that they are recovering in line with pre-Covid levels.

“The figures also show that in March 2023 the figure dipped significantly below 2022’s footfall figures, however as this did not continue as a trend in April or May, it is hard to attribute this to any one issue.

“The figures are however being kept under review ongoing.”

Cllr Janice Silvester-Hall, Lichfield District Council

The report will be considered at a meeting of the overview and scrutiny committee on 2nd August.

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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Clare Sholl
11 months ago

Sounds like a sensible solution. Hope it works in practice.

Lichfield Lady
11 months ago

Ohhh my god you’re joking !!! How poor and spineless can the council be ? They are without a backbone and bend like a rubber band. Who’s going to enforce this mad system ? Mark my words it will end in disaster someone will knock someone over or crash into a building !!! Cars and people DON’T mix.

Adsm
11 months ago

I don’t understand this phrase;

“While the statistics show that the footfall figures in the city are not yet back to pre-Covid levels, it does show that they are recovering in line with pre-Covid levels.”

Mark
11 months ago

It comes as no surprise that Lichfield Council are completely unable to do what virtually every other town and city across England has already done. Omnishambles springs to mind …

Andy
11 months ago

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, the blue badge brigade can’t understand half day pedestrianisation, how on earth will they manage half day AND half week?

What an utterly daft idea.

Put the rules in place, and enforce them and people will eventually get used to them, the same as most cities in the UK.

A Resident
11 months ago

It HAS to be remembered that there are residential properties in the city centre that can only be accessed by driving through the pedestrianised area. These homes do not have any other access point. Some have driveways and private adjacent parking. People who live in the town centre will always have the right to come and go to and from their homes, by car, whenever they wish.

Linda Dickins
11 months ago

Sounds like a good solution.

Archie
11 months ago

Either have pedestrianisation or don’t, if you have a situation where you never know if there is traffic at your heels then there is no point. Because you can not safely walk on the road.

Serious question for blue badge holders once you park up in a disabled bay to goto your shop of choice do you get back in the car and drive to the next shop, or do you walk like I don’t know you would from a car park?

Alan
11 months ago

What is wrong with our council are they incapable of making a step many others have made and sticking to it. All the other towns and cities seem to manage?

Lawman
11 months ago

No, no, no. This will never work. The current system is fine but needs enforcing properly. Cars and vans are still driving through/parking during prohibited times. If the promised cameras are in place then a sign needs adding to this effect. The centre is currently a safer, cleaner more relaxed space. The majority of the towns and cities in this country have a pedestrianised centre, why can’t Lichfield? A major part of the centre is already pedestrianised, Bakers Lane, Market Street, Bird Street and part of Bore Street. The plan was for an 18 month trial. Stick with the original plan.

John Allen
11 months ago

It always astounds me that some people see no problem in discriminating against disabled people over what is after all a small part of the city centre, but a significant part. They will engage in whataboutery, which is meaningless, or make insulting references to the ‘blue badge brigade’. The three day a week access proposal is an improvement on what we had, but some selfish and bigoted people will even object to this. I am not a big fan of cars, but for many people they are the only means of getting around and accessing facilities, and in a civilised society they would be adequately catered for.

Stephen
11 months ago

Its a sensible idea, ass for stupid people suggesting some one will be run over, the people that will be allowed to drive through the city tend to be sensible drivers , due to their own disabilities hence the disabled badge for parking, and as it will. E on the days when less people are in the city centre, people will start shopping regularly again, every one benefits from common sense

Johann popp
11 months ago

Make one choice and stick to it…please.

Andrew Jackson
11 months ago

Why on earth are the council sticking to the 9pm time? What benefit does that give over, say 6.60pm?

On a rainy day people aren’t going to want to get soaking wet on their way into a restaurant from a taxi.

Bill
11 months ago

What is wrong with some people. I know there has to be accessibility for the disabled community, however it’s not IMO a considerable distance from where the bays have been moved to. Town centre should be safe for “ everyone “ that means your family and your community are all treated scouring to your needs .

Mr Pink
11 months ago

If a individual is in receipt of the higher rate mobility component they should be allowed to park anytime, all other blue badge holders make use of the free parking close by

John Allen
11 months ago

Yes Bill, I wonder what is wrong with some people, such as you. You clearly have no idea of distances that those with mobility problems can manage. Mr Pink makes a more constructive comment. Those insisting on total pedestrianisation presumably would suggest stopping the market or any other events in the market square, since service vans will pass through this area, which presents a greater hazard to pedestrians than disabled bays. If the original restrictions to blue badge holders had been enforced, perhaps we would not be engaged in these arguments. Stop other vehicles going through, but allow a concession for blue badge holders. Just a thought, but people can always use the pavements!

Ken H
11 months ago

It amazes me, why wasn’t all this done before any scheme was put into operation.
Causing bad feelings against disabled people.

Pete
11 months ago

What a complete load of rubbish . This woak council could not organise or make decisions on what was initially a distant idea to make some central Lichfield thoroughfares pedestrian only.
Many people’s hope that Lichfield would become like many other forward looking councils around the country, but they have been ignored for the umpteenth time, and this will without doubt restrict the number of visiting tourists and stop new shops from opening. eg. York, Beverly,

Hayes Sarah Jane
11 months ago

Please don’t push the disabled out we are discriminated enough,and saying you can park here or there I can only walk 10 steps with two crutches and then have to rest no I’m not elderly, overweight or any of the other things we have thrown at us,I’m awaiting two new knees but unfortunately after having a vast amount of heart attacks in February,I cannot have surgery as I only have a 20% chance of survival,I’m 52,this wasn’t caused by a lifestyle,I’ve never smoked,EVER…I got sepsis….so what would you want me to do…. perhaps shot me so I’m no longer getting in YOUR WAY…HAVE SOME COMPASSION FOR ONCE

John Allen
11 months ago

Not sure what your point is here, Pete. The disabled parking ban in York was first introduced to aid social distancing in the pandemic, then the excuse changed to anti-terrorism measures. The new Labour council has pledged to reverse the ban before the end of the year. As for deterring visitors and shops, are you confusing the issue with the general decline in retail premises? How would disabled parking deter shops -quite the reverse I would think, since there would be more potential customers (7,500 blue badge holders, to be precise).

Carl Sholl
11 months ago

Could the weather have anything to do with the low footfall in March? According to the Met Office it was unusually wet: “The UK had 155% of average rainfall for the month, and it was the sixth wettest March in records back to 1836.” (mwr_2023_03_for_print_v2.pdf (metoffice.gov.uk)) I hope these figures are being reviewed by people who understand what they actually mean, taking into account all the factors. Meanwhile, the displacement of disabled drivers appears to be causing parking issues along Wade Street and Castle Dyke, potentially making access difficult for emergency vehicles. Far better to let them continue using the spaces along Bore Street where there is plenty of room. The issue is also not going to get any better if the multi-storey car park is demolished. Please, just don’t do that.

David Smith
11 months ago

I have been banned from using my Blue Badge for so long now, I hate you all and will not rest until you are all out of office. I used to like to park in Bore Street and walk back to the coffee shop.If the footfall is down, it is simply your fault. Do everyone a favour and go away.

Ian Price
11 months ago

Its interesting that foot fall os being monitored. But is the traffic that is ignoring the new restrictions being monitored?

Ian Price
11 months ago

Totaly ridiculous.
Its pedestrianised, or its not.
Typical half baked council who can’t make a sensible decision about anything.

Annoyed
11 months ago

Here we go yet again. The businesses gave a favourable response to being given access 3 days a week. Super. They can organise deliveries for those days then. Now ask the ‘blue badge brigade’ if we feel the same. Disabled means less able than others. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to do the things that other able bodied folk do. Like come into town whenever we wish. For people who work, weekends are our time to come shopping. But under this circumstance we are effectively banned & these are also the best market days. Civil liberty being eroded here. Hold a blue badge? You’re a nobody.
I’m in my 60’s. I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve had a fully operational body, shopped in the city, supported city businesses. Now I’m older, I rely on a bit of help in order to reach the parts of town I would like to spend money in or attend appointments. But that’s too much to ask. We have enough pedestrianised areas already & no evidence of the area ever being dangerous. Leave well alone.

Steve Reynolds
11 months ago

We all had the opportunity to contribute our thoughts and ideas y’know.

Worker of the town
11 months ago

The town is so much better with out cars etc ploughing through all day.