In-depth survey confirms ample car parking spaces available in Lichfield city centre

A photo of The Friary Multi-Storey Car Park.
The Friary Multi-Storey Car Park.

A survey commissioned by Lichfield District Council into the capacity of its car parks shows that from 09:00 to 16:30 every day, between 723 and 900 car park spaces are available every hour.

The Council provides 1860 car park spaces across its 16 car parks within the city from Monday to Friday, increasing to 2005 spaces at the weekends. The extensive, hour by hour survey to monitor parking capacity across every council owned car park in the city was commissioned in response to concerns raised about parking capacity following changes to parking fees two months ago and the results show hundreds of car parking spaces are currently unused every hour.

Some car parks are clearly more popular than others with University Car Park West and the Bus Station Car Park full almost all of the time on weekdays. However, the survey shows that adjacent to these car parks, the Friary Outer Multistorey Car Park, and the Frog Lane Car Park (The District Council Offices) run at only 37% and 35% utilisation daily.

The survey did identify that while Birmingham Road Multistorey Car Park is always significantly underused, the reduced parking when it is removed to make way for the cinema plaza work later this year may still cause an inconvenience to users. To address this, the Council will reallocate some nearby car parks from May 2024 to create additional short stay spaces in the city centre alongside those already available.

The survey also identified that one of the Council’s car parks is confusing for users, because it offers both short and long stay parking on the same site. To simplify this for car park users, the Council plans to standardise both upper and lower Lombard Street Car Park as long stay, creating further long stay spaces.

Finally, the survey identified that some short stay users of the car parks are choosing to park in long stay car parks, even for short visits. It is believed this is because of the disparity of pricing between short and long stay car parks over the first two hours. Again, to address this, the Council will reduce the price of short stay car parks for the first two hours to £1.50 so that short stay users can park closer to the city centre. The free 30 minutes in short stay car parks will remain.

The results of the survey provide detailed data to reassure residents and visitors there is sufficient supply of car parking spaces in Lichfield city centre. It does however highlight a need to ensure signposting to where spaces remain at any given time, via the recently introduced digital traffic signage, is effective.

Councillor Janice Silvester-Hall, Cabinet Member for High Streets and Tourism says:

“The survey data highlights that while certain car parks experience higher demand, there remains sufficient capacity within other car parks that are just a few minutes’ walk away. The Friary Outer to the Lichfield Garrick is a 6-minute walk at gentle pace and walking from Greenhough Road, the furthest car park from the city centre, to Market Square is a 13 minute amble.

“The data shows us that Lombard Street, The Friary multi-storey, District Council House, Friary Inner and Sandford Street car parks typically have good availability across the week.

“Now that we have this detailed data, we will make changes to car parks’ designation as long or short stay in order to make it easier for residents and visitors to park and I will be sharing any changes as they are confirmed over the coming weeks.

“We will continue to monitor use of the car parks and will adjust as required to ensure they meet the needs of our community.

“Over the next couple of weeks, I will also be working with council officers to ensure that the digital traffic signage directs drivers to available spaces and that information is shared quickly with our residents about which car parks typically have capacity during the week”.  

“I’d also like to remind all blue badge holders that they can park for free in any of the council owned car parks if they display their blue badge”.

There are approximately 3119 car park spaces within walking distance of Lichfield city centre provided by the council, supermarkets and privately operated car parks. There is a mixture of short stay and long stay and excludes on-street parking and private car parks that are not accessible to the public.

Council car parks monitored hourly were:

  • Birmingham Road
  • Birmingham Road Multi-storey
  • Bus Station Car Park
  • Council House
  • Council House Overflow (weekends only)
  • Greenhill
  • Lombard Street
  • Redcourt
  • Cross Keys (weekends only)
  • Bird Street
  • Friary Inner
  • Sandford Street
  • Friary Multi-Storey Car Park
  • University West
  • University East
  • University Staff (weekends only)
  • Bunkers Hill
  • Greenhough Road
  • Shaw Lane

Download our car park vacancy data here.

Published: 11 March 2024