Experimental pedestrianisation scheme refinements From 31 July agreed in response to blue badge holder and business concerns

The pedestrianisation trial has been updated.
Refinements to the pedestrianisation scheme take effect from Monday 31 July.

In response to ongoing feedback received from residents, blue badge holders and city centre businesses, refinements to the ongoing experimental pedestrianisation scheme will be in place after the weekend.

The new measures will take effect from 31 July at 8am and aim to strike a balance between fostering a pedestrian-friendly environment and ensuring access to the town centre for all stakeholders. The changes address concerns raised during online feedback, engagement sessions and workshops held since the trial's launch in March earlier this year.

The refinements introduce a hybrid pedestrianisation model. Under this new scheme, pedestrianisation will be implemented with unrestricted access granted to blue badge holders and permit holders on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays throughout the day.

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays will see pedestrianisation continue in line with the current trial's guidelines.

During a recent feedback workshop attended by local businesses, the new proposals were met with a "favourable" response.   A recent survey garnered nearly 3000 responses which showed that 39% loved the scheme and an additional 21% liked it but wanted to see some refinements. Nearly 15% want it to stop and of these respondents 62% were blue badge holders. Over 50% of respondents said that it is easier to walk around in the city centre and 39% said it felt safer and 29% said the city feels more vibrant and welcoming.

Councillor Janice Silvester-Hall expressed gratitude for the active participation and invaluable insights shared during the engagement process and remarked: 

"We genuinely appreciate the constructive feedback and dialogue we have had with our residents, blue badge holders, businesses, and other stakeholders. The forthcoming refinements to the experimental pedestrianisation scheme represent the next step in testing what works best for our city centre to make it both vibrant and accessible. 

An experimental Traffic Restriction Order (eTRO) is specifically designed so that we can test how it works in practice and to make refinements in line with feedback and I am pleased we can work together to make this scheme work for everyone.

As we move forward, we remain committed to fostering an inclusive and pedestrian-friendly environment while ensuring that the concerns and perspectives of our community are acknowledged and addressed."

For the proposed hybrid pedestrianisation to take effect, a new eTRO will be implemented. In line with legislation, this order will be accompanied by a new six-month consultation period, specifically designed to capture, and analyse feedback from all users and stakeholders.

By incorporating this comprehensive approach to data collection, Lichfield District Council aims to gather vital insights to inform the future of pedestrianisation in this area.

For the first eight weeks of the new eTRO drivers into the pedestrianisation area on Thursday to Sunday will be stopped and advised of the restrictions until new traffic signage is in place. Once the new signs are installed robust management of traffic restriction will start and fines issued where appropriate.

Lichfield District Council encourages all residents, businesses, blue badge holders, and stakeholders to take part in the new consultation process once the hybrid pedestrianisation is in effect. Details of how to share feedback will be released in the coming weeks.

Full details of the survey responses can be found online.

Published: 27 July 2023