City centre pedestrianisation trial (ETRO)

July workshop events views and comments

Thank you to everyone who came along to Darwin Hall on Monday 10 July to attend one of two feedback sessions on the city centre pedestrianisation trial, particularly tailored for blue badge, disabled and less able city users.

We are really grateful to you all for coming and sharing your thoughts and ideas.

At both sessions an potential amendment to the experimental traffic order (ETRO) was discussed, which was to introduce part-time pedestrianisation, with access allowed to blue badge holders on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at any time.

Under the proposal Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays would continue to be fully pedestrianised.

People at the sessions were asked for their views on this proposal, as well as wider views and comments on the trial.

Attendees were also brought up to date on recent improvements delivered to support the trial including:

  • New resting points have been installed between Bird Street car park and Market Street, and Lombard Street car park and Market Square.
  • New directional signage installed at the Tamworth Street gateway.
  • Directional signage to Lombard Street car park has been installed.
  • Clearer signage on the height restriction bar into the top layer of Lombard Street car park has been installed.
  • LED lighting has been installed above the seating between Bird Street car park and Market Street.

Workshop events feedbacks

Topics discussed Notes
Part time proposal

Many attendees were pleased to know the council was considering a part-time trial, but felt that the following should be considered:

  • Allow access on at least one-day at the weekend.
  • Allow access in the evenings (e.g. from 6pm daily) so disabled people can access evening entertainment.
  • Allow access on a main market day (Friday or Saturday).
Remove restrictions for blue badge holders

Many attendees still felt that the trial should be amended to remove all restrictions for disabled/blue badge drivers who should be allowed access at all times.

  • Blue badge holders could register for a pass.
  • Blue badge holders were not the main problem – delivery drivers make up the bulk of city users.
  • Blue badge holders drive more slowly than other city users so do not present a hazard.
Access to Bore Street Attendees felt the council should further explore the use of Bore Street for blue badge holders. It was explained at the session that the council had undertaken considerable investigation (with independent advice) into this option, but it was not feasible as a two-way street due to the nature of the junction onto The Friary.
Concerns about charity shop success and success of wider businesses

Attendees felt that the trial was impacting negatively on both donations to, and purchases at, charity shops.

Other attendees felt that the changes would only benefit food and drink businesses and would disadvantage small businesses that rely on footfall from disabled city users.

It was highlighted by the council that there is widespread evidence that pedestrianisation can enhance cities and help them to become more vibrant. It was also highlighted that footfall figures to date suggest city footfall has not been detrimentally impacted by the pedestrianisation trial.

Condition of pavements Some attendees highlighted the condition of pavements in the city is an ongoing accessibility issue.   
Proposed demolition of the Birmingham Road multi-storey car park Several attendees raised concerns about the demolition of the multi-storey car park and the fact that they will then struggle to reach the Lichfield Garrick, as there is not adequate nearby car parking. The council highlighted the district council house car park is available for public use in the evening and is often under-used.
Electric scooters/mobility scooters Concern was raised that proper use of electric/mobility scooters needs to be better enforced in the city centre.
Lack of statistics and clear reasoning for pedestrianisation

Concern was raised that because the trial began after the covid restrictions had been in place, that the council should stop the trial and gather six months of statistics before determining the best proposal.

Attendees that more research into other towns that have pedestrianised should be undertaken.

Introduce a city pedestrianisation train One attendee suggested that a pedestrian train should be introduced to take people from car parks to shops. Some attendees felt that this would not be accessible to disabled users, for example wheelchair users.
More disabled parking bays on Wade Street and Frog Lane Attendees suggested introducing more disabled parking spaces on Wade Street and Frog Lane.
Introduction of more facilities to support disabled and less able customers Attendees suggested introducing more dropped kerbs across the city, more seating and more car parking spaces that support people who use mobility scooters and electric wheelchairs. Attendees felt such enhancements would make Lombard Street car park easier to access for those with mobility issues/those in a wheelchair.

If you would like to give your views please fill in our feedback form, or please send your views to:

Pedestrianisation scheme views
Lichfield District Council
District Council House
Frog Lane
WS13 6YU