Michael Fabricant has welcomed the rethink of how pedestrianisation is implemented in Lichfield.
Michael says “While I have always been a strong advocate of pedestrianisation in the centre of Lichfield, a number of constituents have raised practical issues as to how this might be implemented. So I welcome the District Council’s rethink.
“The obvious issue concerns deliveries to retail and food outlets in the pedestrian zone. But of equal, if not more, concern in Lichfield is the provision of health services including pharmacy, dentistry and hearing augmentation which are also well within the zone. The elderly or disabled need access to these services. Tim Spooner, a local dentist, has explained to me that some patients suffering from diseases like Parkinson’s need to have appointments near the middle of the day when their morning medication has had a chance to kick in.
“Early morning or late afternoon appointments are not always suitable. We need to recognise this urgent need for disabled people to visit these health clinics by car while ensuring that motorised access to the pedestrianised zone is not abused. Other councils have found compromises to this problem and these need to be explored. However, I fully recognise that the centre of Lichfield has more mixed usage than some other cities.
“Getting the balance right between pedestrianisation and the needs of residents is not going to be easy, but there does need to be a solution to assist those least mobile in our community. However, I remain convinced that pedestrianisation of the City centre will ultimately provide a more enjoyable experience for visitors and residents alike. Experience from other parts of the UK shows that people spend more time and more money in pedestrianised streets which stimulates the local economy for the benefit of all.
“The greening of the centre of Lichfield should remain a priority once these issues have been resolved.”