London’s Royal Parks debate blocking through motor traffic

Consultation has opened on whether London’s Royal Parks should curb motor traffic using roads within its parks.

The Royal Parks include most of London’s famous parks, including Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’ Park, Regent’s Park, Kensington Gardens, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park.

As picked up by the London Cycling Campaign, the parks operate independently of the boroughs within which they are located, but parliamentary approval would be required to make certain changes – should they be recommended by ‘The Royal Parks Movement Strategy’.

Proposal 4 in the Royal Parks draft strategy is to discourage motor traffic from using park roads: “Our park roads are not intended to be commuter through-routes for motor vehicles: Park roads are primarily for the use of park visitors coming to the parks, not for commuters travelling through the parks. Over time, we will discourage the through-movement of motor vehicles within our parks.”

With the Royal Parks promising evidence based decisions and a proactive approach to future transport challenges, the proposals appear promising for cycling, although walking will be prioritised.

The Movement Strategy could include the following aims, the Royal Parks charity said:

  • Increasing safety for all park visitors by minimising the conflicts between different transport user groups
  • Promoting active and sustainable modes of transport as the first choice for visitors
  • Reducing the impact of vehicle-based traffic on the parks
  • Continuing to prioritise walking in the parks

Mat Bonomi, Head of Transport for The Royal Parks, said: “London’s population is projected to grow to 10 million residents by 2035 so more and more people are going to be using our parks to seek refuge from the busy city.  We need to be prepared for this and do all we can to ensure that London remains one of the world’s greatest cities in which to live.

“The development of our movement strategy will ensure we are best placed to manage our parks effectively and efficiently in the future. As the charity managing over 5,000 acres of historic parkland and green space across London, we must ensure that we conserve and enhance these unique spaces and support the health and happiness of Londoners.”

The London Cycling Campaign is putting together a response and inviting input. 

The deadline to provide input on the Royal Parks strategy is 14 July 2019.

The Royal Parks promoted activities as part of Bike Week.