City centre pedestrianisation trial
Lichfield District Council continues to work with Staffordshire County Council to make the city centre an attractive, safe, and vibrant place for people to visit, work and live.
As part of this, experimental pedestrianisation is set to be formally trialled in some areas of Lichfield City Centre from March 2023.
The aim is to make Lichfield city centre safer for shoppers, workers and visitors, to reduce air pollution and to promote sustainable travel.
The experimental Traffic Regulation Order (E TRO) in Lichfield city centre will restrict vehicles at all times, with exceptions for loading from 9pm to 12 noon
The roads affected will be:
- Market Street
- Tamworth Street
- Conduit Street
- Breadmarket Street
- Bore Street
- Dam Street, Sandford Street and Bird Street (incorporating existing restrictions at these locations)
Loading and deliveries will still be permitted outside the hours of enforcement for businesses who need these on a daily basis
Give your views
Formal consultation with residents and businesses will take place during the trial to ensure that pedestrianisation continues to offer the best option for the city centre - this will launch in March 2023.
Prior to the launch of the formal consultation, the council has been seeking the informal views of businesses, residents and visitors. Anyone who wishes to share their views can do so by completing our Feedback form.
As soon as the formal consultation is launched, we will publish details to this page and social media.
Frequently asked questions
Why is the pedestrianisation taking place?
The aim is to make Lichfield city centre even more attractive to shoppers, workers and visitors, to reduce traffic movement and reduce air pollution in this locality whilst giving priority to pedestrians where appropriate.
The Councils’ adopted Public Realm Strategy suggested that the removing of vehicles within the city centre core would be beneficial to the vibrancy and feel of the city’s core. The Strategy found that due to the nature of Lichfield, the cobbled paths are very narrow and people often walked in the road.
A traffic survey data indicated that approximately 80% of vehicles within the proposed pedestrianised zone being private cars and therefore removing the need for access would have the greatest effect on traffic flows and offer the maximum benefit to pedestrians.
What is an Experimental Traffic Restriction Order?
A Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) is a legal order, which allows the Local Highway Authority (LHA) to regulate the speed, movement and parking of vehicles. The Act governing Traffic Orders is the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and this is enforceable by law. In Staffordshire, moving Traffic Orders are enforced by the police and on-street parking restrictions are enforced by Staffordshire County Council (SCC). An Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO), is very similar to a TRO except that the Order is not permanent. Instead, an ETRO can only be in place for a maximum of 18 months. ETROs are often used by Local Highway Authorities to measure and assess the effects of new arrangements, before potentially making them permanent.
What will happen to the disabled parking bays?
Thirty six Disabled Persons Parking Bays (DPPB) will be permanently relocated to Bird Street car park and Lombard Street car park. This arrangement has been reviewed and validated by AccessAble, a disability support consultancy and it ensures no net loss of designated car parking for Blue Badge holders.
Lichfield District Council contracted AccessAble to review the changes to blue badge parking that were required as part of the pedestrianisation strategy. AccessAble provided a full report confirming that the blue badge parking bays provision was appropriate.
What time will traffic be restricted during the day?
Traffic will be restricted to motorised vehicles at all times, with exceptions for loading from 9pm to 12 noon, and access to off street parking facilities.
Which streets are affected?
New restrictions would apply to Market Street, Tamworth Street, Conduit Street, Breadmarket Street and Bore Street and incorporate existing restrictions at Dam Street, Sandford Street and Bird Street.
How long will the ETRO be in place for?
The formal Experimental Traffic Regulation Order runs for 18 months from March 2023, including a 6-month formal consultation process. Informal consultation has been taking place since 1 January 2023 and feedback is welcomed from residents and businesses. Anyone who wishes to share their views prior to the launch of the formal consultation can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will the restrictions be monitored and managed?
The preferred enforcement method is the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). ANPR would use fixed cameras sited at all entry points to the pedestrian zones (including Tamworth Street and Bird Street from the Friary and Sandford Street access points) which read number plates and automatically check these against an approved list of vehicles.
Whilst ANPR is the preferred enforcement method, the installation of camera’s and an ANPR system doesn’t form part of the current ETRO proposals and will only come forward if it’s needed as phase two. Once the ETRO has been in operation for a reasonable time, a traffic study will be undertaken to review the amount of traffic that is contravening the pedestrian zone to determine if ANPR is actually required and to formulate an expected payback period based on transgressions. If a traffic study shows that there’s merit in introducing ANPR and if SCC have the delegated powers to enforce moving traffic offences, a second phase could come forward. This would be a partnership between LDC and SCC.
Any drivers entering the pedestrian zone are potentially breaching the legal Order and are potentially committing an offence, as well as potentially invalidating any vehicle insurance policy they may hold. It is the intention of SCC with the support of LDC to therefore firstly introduce a ‘soft enforcement’ procedure as part of the ETRO. Rather than issuing fines for first offenders and certainly during the first few weeks following implementation, those drivers who are found to be breaching the Order will initially only be issued with a warning letter, informing them that they have done so and that if they repeat the offence they may be liable to pay a fixed Penalty Charge Notice.
What will happen after the 18-month period?
An ETRO is usually in place for up to 18 months with a decision made either at the end of this period, or before, as to whether the ETRO is subsequently made permanent or removed altogether. The first six months is the formal consultation period so that feedback and objections from drivers, residents, business owners, and other stakeholders can be considered and recorded.
Will there be flexibility on access for delivery vehicles?
Delivery vehicles will be subject to the restrictions and times of operations listed during the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order. The ETRO seeks feedback over the next six months from residents/businesses and this is important in helping to determine whether the current times and restrictions are suitable.
How is this going to affect the market traders?
Market traders will need to comply with the restrictions, however if the hours of operation for the market necessitate it, they can apply to be added to the approved drivers list. This will allow registered vehicles to access the controlled area. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
How can I talk with someone about the ETRO?
You can email the council officer managing the project at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01543 308000.
If you missed our drop in sessions this spring, more sessions will be arranged if required, so that everyone can share their thoughts during the trial period.
How can I request a permit for a vehicle?
Permits can be obtained by residents and businesses with access to off road facilities at all times. Please email email@example.com with your name, company name, address and telephone number and your permit will be posted out. The team handling the enquiries will need to contact you to confirm details and ensure validity of the request.