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Roads, Parking and Pavements
Beacon Street, which was previously called Bacon Street, forms the "spine" of BSARA's catchment area; it has existed for hundreds of years and is one of the main arterial roads linking Lichfield City to the northern part of Lichfield District. Much of Beacon Street lies in a conservation area and contains some of Lichfield’s oldest buildings, many of these lack off-street parking. Beacon Street has a number of residential side roads that lead to Beacon Park and to the housing estates of North Lichfield.
The way the Street has evolved over the years has lead to the creation of many problems (see right hand slideshow) that are incompatible with the requirements of a modern highway. This includes issues with parking, high traffic volumes, road layout and pavement maintenance and potential conflict between pedestrians and other road users.
BSARA works hard with local residents and Staffordshire County Council to try to resolve some of these issues (see left hand slideshow), including:
- Highway Layout problems along Beacon Street include a number of points where the layout is far from optimal and where road-safety is an issue. These include the The Bird Street / Swan Road junction, the pedestrian crossing at the Cathedral, the Morrisons Island / Wheel lane and the junction with Abnalls Lane. All of these are accident black spots and have been brought to the attention of Staffordshire County Council's Highways Department many times. Some improvements have been made, e.g. the addition of two pedestrian crossings and the island refuge at Anson Avenue.
- Increasing Traffic Volumes and the failure of some drivers to adhere to speed limits accentuate the hazards. BSARA, in conjunction with Lichfield Police, have monitored traffic with a speed gun. Whilst effective, the speed reduction was only temporary. The issue of excessive speed is one which BSARA feels affects all local residents and visitors; That is why BSARA monitors local traffic speeds as part of the community SPEEDWATCH programme.
- The heavily used pavement from Anson Avenue to Bird Street is in desperate need of some maintenance. It is uneven, narrow in places and the kerbs are very low at some points. It is extremely difficult for wheelchair/mobility scooter/pushchair users to use this part of the pavement.
- Parking is a major issue. Many residents do not have off-street parking and City Centre workers park in Beacon Street and surrounding roads to avoid parking charges. While recent changes – such as the extension of double yellow lines near junctions and the abolition of limited waiting time bays – have improved the situation, we still need a long-term solution to deal with traffic growth caused by the expected increase in the number of vehicles using our roads.