Lichfield city centre regeneration projects

Car parking strategy

The long term sustainability of Lichfield city centre for people to shop, work, play and access services and facilities is an important consideration.  Currently people access and move around the city centre in many ways via the private car, public transport and by walking and cycling. Public car parks serve the city centre and provide for short and long stays. There are approximately 2,133 available off-street car-parking spaces (including 70 disabled spaces) situated in and around Lichfield city centre. Of these 2002 are owned by Lichfield District Council and 131 parking spaces are available at the Three Spires Shopping Centre car parks located on the periphery of the city centre.

In November 2021 Lichfield District Council approved the Lichfield city centre Car Parking Strategy and Project Delivery Action Plan. This car parking strategy supports the delivery of the Lichfield City Centre Masterplan, which is designed to shape the future growth of Lichfield city centre, setting out opportunities for improving the quality of the city centre environment and the range of different uses it offers, and provide a prospectus for investment in Lichfield.

You can request a copy of the car parking strategy and project delivery action plan by emailing: major.developments@lichfielddc.gov.uk

Vision

“To have a parking estate which meets the needs of the city, its residents, businesses and visitors, that supports the objective to be a vibrant city centre. To provide a parking estate that is sufficiently funded by an appropriate regime and is constantly monitored, maintained and updated to ensure it remains fit for purpose in the modern day”.

Objectives

Our objectives for this strategy, are to:

  • Provide sufficient parking capacity that will support city activities and the local economy, including a range of parking offers to suit different needs.
  • Provide appropriately located long and short term parking provision that encourages an even use of all car parks.
  • Provide car parking which is easy to locate, access and safe to use.
  • Provide car parking that offers a range of convenient payment options for the user.
  • Support carbon reduction and air quality management goals by providing the infrastructure for additional electric vehicle charging.
  • Provide for a fee charging structure which appropriately balances customer expectations as to the quality of experience with the costs of maintenance, management of, and investment in, the current car park estate.

To make sure Lichfield’s car parking provision remain fit for purpose the strategy will focus on the following topics.

Parking Capacity

Whilst there are a number of city centre car parks that are more popular than others, there is sufficient parking space available across the city to cope with the current demand.

With car ownership increasing and a number of new housing developments being constructed within Lichfield District, it will be necessary to monitor this with a view to implementing interventions as necessary to manage future demand.

It is therefore essential that the following actions are undertaken.

  • Develop a car parking policy which considers the future provision of the car parks in tandem with the consideration of interventions that can be implemented to manage demand.
  • Ensure there is sufficient capacity to accommodate needs year round.
  • Ensure that an appropriate mix of both long and short stay parking provision is available for users.
  • To introduce a mechanism where drivers are able to easily locate available parking spaces.
  • Consider appropriate car parks where capacity might be increased.
  • Consider appropriate locations where additional permanent car parking might be introduced
  • To ensure parking is available to cope with spikes in demand (e.g. Events, festival weekends, Lichfield Bower Day).
  • Consider appropriate locations where additional temporary car parking might be introduced to help manage short term spikes in demand (e.g. Events, festival weekends, Lichfield Bower Day).
  • To implement appropriate interventions that can be used to manage car park demand.
  • Rationalise the usage of car parks to increase the occupancy in underutilised car parks.

Location

Our current car parks are well located, are easily accessible and allow users quick access to all areas of the city. The following actions will need to be considered to ensure that this remains the case.

  • Ensure car parks are well signposted so drivers can easily locate them.
  • Ensure that access and exit from the car parks to the city is well signposted, maintained and accessible for all.
  • Ensure that information about the city centre and nearby facilities is available within each car park.
  • Implement appropriate interventions that can be used to manage car park demand during busy periods of use.
  • Ensure existing short stay and long stay spaces are situated in the most suitable locations for the user.

Car Parking Charging

A benchmarking exercise carried out by 2020 Transport Consultants highlighted that both short-stay and long-stay parking charges in Lichfield are favourable, with none of the benchmarked locations offering a complete parking offer that was lower cost than Lichfield. It is essential that the current charging structure remains fit for purpose. To ensure this the following actions will be undertaken.

  • Ensure fees suitably reflect the experience and are appropriate with accessing the city centre and its services and facilities available.
  • Implement appropriate parking charges to encourage and increase use in underutilised car parks.
  • Ensure parking charges are being made at the appropriate times.
  • Benchmarking exercises regularly carried out to determine how parking charges in Lichfield District compare to neighbouring cities and towns.

Technology

Advancements in technology significantly improve the customer experience of using car parks. It is imperative that technological interventions are considered and implemented as necessary to ensure the current car parks improve the customer experience and remain up to date and fit for purpose.

  • Introduce convenient payment systems that make transactions quicker and easier.
  • Introduce convenient payment systems that encourage users to stay longer in the city.
  • Introduce a mechanism so that drivers are able to easily locate available parking spaces.
  • Increase the current provision for Electric Vehicle charging.

Quality of parking experience

The car park is often the first place a visitor to Lichfield will see. It is important that the quality of current car parks are set to a high standard. With that in mind we will endeavour to:

  • Ensure our current car parks are well maintained.
  • Ensure our car parks are easy to navigate with improved driver directional lining and signage.
  • Ensure our car parks provide a safe and secure environment for both drivers and pedestrians.
  • Ensure relevant advice and guidance is provided either in the car parks themselves or via other suitable channels.
  • Spaces are made available that can accommodate all vehicles.

Enforcement

We acknowledge that car parking enforcement is an important customer facing service and it is crucial to provide the best and most effective way of delivering the service. To make sure this remains the case the following actions will be undertaken.

  • Ensure the number of Civil Enforcement Officers is appropriate to support the efficient operation and management of our car parks.
  • Ensure all car parking payment equipment is regularly checked and maintained so it remains in good working order.
  • Ensure up to date driver, pedestrian and visitor advice and guidance is provided in our car parks.
  • Enhance traffic management and safety of pedestrians within the car parks.
  • Utilise appropriate software to provide system support and enhance the efficient operation of the payment systems.