The Royal Parks aims to create new car-free spaces and reduce cut through traffic
The Royal Parks charity has begun trials to reduce cut-through motor traffic in Richmond Park, opening up new car-free spaces for visitors to enjoy the natural environment.
The trials will help protect and enhance these precious parks while balancing the needs of local communities. The trials will begin on 15th August, last six months and conclude in February 2021.
Richmond Park’s wide, open spaces, grasslands and deer herds, create a tranquil oasis for Londoners. The parks are home to ancient trees and a wide range of rare species including fungi, birds, beetles, bats, grasses and wildflowers. Both parks have protected status as an important habitat for wildlife as Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
A weekday trial at Richmond Park will restrict all through-traffic between Broomfield Hill Car Park and Robin Hood Car Park and close the vehicle link between Sheen Gate and Sheen Cross.
Additionally, at Richmond Park on weekends, the trial will restrict all cut-through traffic between Roehampton, Sheen and Richmond Gates, ensuring this part of the park is a more enjoyable space for all park visitors.
Mat Bonomi, Head of Transport for The Royal Parks, said: “Richmond and Bushy Parks are much loved by local residents and those from further afield who are seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a breath of fresh air.
“The reduction of cut-through traffic in these parks has already dramatically changed them for the better, allowing visitors to experience their beauty without a backdrop of commuter traffic. Never before have we seen so many families and children walking, riding and playing on Chestnut Avenue.
“We believe this project will go a long way to reducing the negative effects of cut-through traffic. The trial will ensure all car parks are still accessible for those who need them.”
This is part of wider trials across all the Royal Parks. The charity has long aspired to reduce cut-through traffic. As a result of the Covid-19 crisis, the parks have been closed or partially closed to motor vehicles since the end of March and many of the proposed trial measures are already in place.
The beginning of the trials follows the launch of the charity’s Movement Strategy in July, which sets a coherent framework to help shape and inform the policies relating to how park visitors can access, experience and move within the parks and incorporated wide-ranging consultation across thousands of members of the public, transport partners and local Boroughs.
The trials will be measured and monitored through visitor satisfaction surveys in the parks (where possible due to Covid-19 restrictions), feedback from stakeholders - local organisations and residents and evaluating external implications in partnership with relevant transport authorities, including TfL and local boroughs. A formal consultation with all park visitors, residents and stakeholders will take place from November to December 2020.
August 13, 2020