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Have your say on rat-running motorists driving through London’s Royal Parks

Richmond Park was closed to all through motor traffic during the first lockdown – campaigners would like to see that made permanent

The Royal Parks Movement Strategy consultation closes tomorrow (Sunday). The Movement Strategy sets out a long-term vision for how park visitors will move within the parks in the future and campaigners are keen to see more done to combat rat-running motorists.

Almost 80 per cent of respondents to a 2019 consultation agreed that the Royal Parks were not for rush-hour motorists.

> Jeremy Vine films motorist driving down Hyde Park cycle path

In the summer, the Royal Parks therefore began trial closures of several roads through its parks to motor vehicles in a bid to combat through-traffic.

  • In Bushy Park, removing all through traffic with a partial road closure between Teddington and Hampton Court Gates
  • In St James’s and The Green Park, closing The Mall and Constitution Hill to traffic on Saturdays until dusk, in addition to the regular Sunday closures
  • In Greenwich Park, a full-time closure of the Avenue to cut-through vehicle traffic
  • In Hyde Park, trial closures of North Carriage Drive permanently, and South Carriage Drive on Saturdays, in addition to the regular Sunday closures
  • In Richmond Park, on weekdays, restricting all through-traffic between Broomfield Hill Car Park and Robin Hood Car Park and a full-time closure of the vehicle link between Sheen Gate and Sheen Cross. Additionally, on weekends and public holidays, restricting all cut-through traffic between Roehampton, Sheen and Richmond Gates to create a quiet zone on the north side of the park

Richmond Park was also completely closed to through traffic during lockdown between March and August. London Cycling Campaign (LCC) says that the effect this had was “incredible”.

A spokesperson said: “The park was full, not just with sports cyclists doing laps, but also with families and people on handcycles and trikes – people for whom motor traffic is the barrier stopping them from cycling.

“Please respond to the consultation today: ask The Royal Parks to be bolder and cut through motor-traffic from the parks.”

You can find the Movement Strategy consultation here.

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Velomark | 3 years ago

I don't live in a part of London that's particularly near the park, so the first time I went to it I had no idea it was open to cars, but when I saw it was utterly shocking. The roads are not even wide its literally wide pedestrian paths being used as roads its a joke.

Chris Hayes | 3 years ago

I rode down there over Xmas - and then rode straight home. The pedestrianised areas were full of, well, pedestrians - which I have no issue with: it's great to see families out enjoying themselves, but it's not safe to ride at pace with so many families out walking and kids running around - but the closure of the north side to traffic just caused traffic jams on the south side.

FFS park authorities - this happens every time you do this - just close the whole park off to cars.  

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