It is possible to walk between the shopping areas but impractical for the elderly or mobility impaired. Stafford centre is pedestrianized and is paved and not accessible by car between 10 am and 4 pm. If your walking is very limited you may vistit by car after 4 pm.
The High St has a lot of street furniture, such as ornamental posts, bike racks, waste bins and benches as well as trees. Shops use A boards for advertisement and some put out planters to improve the look of their shop and some cafes put tables and chairs in the street for al fresco dining. This causes difficulties for pedestrians in general but is particularly difficult for wheelchair users, partially sighted and for parents with pushchairs.
Access to facilities
Stafford has the usual mix of old and modern premises which means that some shops are very accessible but others are very difficult for the mobility impaired due to steps and narrow entrances.
The four accessible toilets and those in public parks require special RADAR keys which may be purchased at low cost from Stafford Civic Offices, Riverside. There are plentiful accessible toilets in the Civic Centre, Staffordshire Place, Guildhall shopping centre and public libraries but are closed in the evenings except for events. Outsourced venues such as the Gatehouse Theatre and health facilities normally have accessible provision. There are public toilets on the Broad St car park with accessible toilet facilities. In addition the supermarkets provide customer toilets with accessible facilities and bars and restaurants and some other shops have customer toilets.
Stafford is the major settlement in the borough. See map. It is the county town and has a large number of facilities, including most major supermarkets, shops, a leisure centre, swimming pool, libraries and the council offices for both the county and the borough. There is also a number of parks including Victoria Park with the River Sow running through it and an extensive children’s recreation area.
Getting to Stafford
Driving – Stafford is off the M6 between junctions 13 to the south and 14 to the north and is on the A34 towards Stoke-on-Trent to the north and Lichfield to the south, the A518 towards Uttoxeter to the east and Newport to the west, and the A449 towards Wolverhampton. There is an eastern bypass to the centre.
Rail – Stafford is on the west coast main line and has good rail connections to London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, the potteries and the south west. The station is fully accessible with toilets on platform one and lifts giving access to the footbridge connecting all platforms.
Bus – The town is well connected in all directions via a number of bus routes.
There are a number of taxi companies and accessible vehicles that service Stafford
There are many carparks in or around the town both public and private and ground level and multi-story. Details including map can be found here.
The supermarkets have their own parking which is mostly free to customers and have a number of accessible spaces for blue badge holders and parent and child.
Stafford Town Centre has increased the number of on-road parking spaces free to blue badge holders. Hours of charging and charges may vary especially for privately managed carparks which are increasing across the town. Most shop carparks are free but Kingsmead Carpark is limited to 2 hour parking night and day with heavy fines for short overstays. Do not assume that a blue badge gives unlimited free parking.
Most of the facilities can be found around the High St but there are a number of clusters of shops away from the centre around Riverside, Queensville and Greyfriars and many shops along the main roads into and out of the centre.
Getting around continued