Home
Petition launched to have decision reversed

In April 2016, Royal Parks erected signs at each end of the Duke’s Head Passage into London’s Bushy Park banning cycling. Campaigners have now launched a petition to have the decision reversed, arguing that there have been no reported accidents involving cyclists and few complaints.

The 500-metre long path leads from Hampton Village into Bushy Park and campaigners say it has been the safest route for cyclists to enter the park.

Speaking in April, when the ‘no cycling’ signs were first put up, councillor for Hampton Gareth Roberts told the Richmond and Twickenham Times that the move was an overreaction. “Pedestrians, cyclists and dog walkers have managed to rub along together perfectly well for decades along Duke's Head Passage with little, if anything, in the way of confrontation.”

A Freedom of Information request put in to the Royal Parks by those who created the petition appears to support this.

Responding in July to an enquiry about why the ban on cyclists had been introduced, park manager Ray Brodie said that it was due to ‘near-misses’.

He said there had been no reported accidents and just two near-misses.

In separate correspondence, dating back to February, assistant park manager Bill Swan informed someone complaining about a lack of consideration by cyclists using Duke’s Head Passage that it was “rare” for the park to receive such complaints.

A Royal Parks spokesman said the passage had never actually been a designated cycle path and was a narrow pathway which had to be managed for the enjoyment of park users.

“We’re not excluding anyone from using this pathway, and we feel that walking with your bike for 10 minutes (at the most) or keeping your dog on a lead are very small compromises that will benefit all park users.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

14 comments

Avatar
brooksby [2639 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

I'm still waiting for when motorists are told that it's not inconvenient for them to have to push their car for five minutes, just from here to there, in the interests of helping other road users...

Avatar
Fifth Gear [118 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

Dear Royal Parks spokesman,

We feel that inserting  the antler of a deer up your arse for 10 minutes (at the most) would be a very small compromise that will benefit all bicycle users (and possibly the hole of mankind.)

Avatar
barbarus [496 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes
Fifth Gear wrote:

Dear Royal Parks spokesman,

We feel that inserting  the antler of a deer up your arse for 10 minutes (at the most) would be a very small compromise that will benefit all bicycle users (and possibly the hole of mankind.)

Well it certainly won't benefit the hole of the Royal Parks Spokesperson!

Avatar
FatBoyW [239 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

It would be wonderful to hear the owner of the park explain the logic of this action, a route that is safe and uncontentious being removed from people - can you sue the Queen if injured using the riskier alternatives?

Avatar
themartincox [553 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

'Responding in July to an enquiry about why the ban on cyclists had been introduced, park manager Ray Brodie said that it was due to ‘near-misses’.

In fairness, isn't this exactly what West Mids police are trying to stamp out? We always complain about near-misses from cars->bikes and how nothing is ever done unless there are collisions? It simply seems that the parks are using the same idea, there are (possibly) lots of peds who are fearful of near-misses and have complained?

*disclaimer - I've not read the FOI request, and possibly just skimmed the article itself. 

and yes, I do think this is draconian

Avatar
nniff [204 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

This is good news and a precedent -  all we have to do is complain to the Royal Parks about near misses with cars on the roads in Richmond Park and they'll close the whole thing to cars as they do at night, when it is a beautiful and quiet place, with lots of bikes and deer  all rubbing along just fine

Avatar
Bob'sbikes [850 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

One day these people will work out that a person astride a bike takes up less room than a person standing to the side of the bike pushing it through, therefore causing more close passes/near misses which in turn is going to cause more confrontation.

Can we not arrest park manager Ray Brodie for incitment to riot?

Avatar
PaulBox [675 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

"Responding in July to an enquiry about why the ban on cyclists had been introduced, park manager Ray Brodie said that it was due to ‘near-misses’.

He said there had been no reported accidents and just two near-misses."

 

Shit, the head of Heathrow has just read this article and shut the place down...

 

Why don't they just paint the grass on one side of the path blue? Safe as fcuking houses then!

Avatar
dottigirl [808 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Legal eagles, is there not a right of way issue here, if it's been used as a bridleway for twenty-plus years?

Avatar
Tim Costen [4 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The picture accompanying this article is inaccurate (in fact, it shows someone riding "off road" in the park - which is definitely not permitted).

Duke's Passage can be seen here: https://assets.change.org/photos/1/pt/en/BsPTEnDXNUDOWcg-800x450-noPad.jpg?1476793806

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [1843 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
PaulBox wrote:

"Responding in July to an enquiry about why the ban on cyclists had been introduced, park manager Ray Brodie said that it was due to ‘near-misses’.

He said there had been no reported accidents and just two near-misses."

 

Shit, the head of Heathrow has just read this article and shut the place down...

 

>

And I look forward to cars being banned from almost every road in London.

Avatar
NPlus1Bikelight... [34 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
themartincox wrote:

'Responding in July to an enquiry about why the ban on cyclists had been introduced, park manager Ray Brodie said that it was due to ‘near-misses’.

In fairness, isn't this exactly what West Mids police are trying to stamp out? We always complain about near-misses from cars->bikes and how nothing is ever done unless there are collisions? It simply seems that the parks are using the same idea, there are (possibly) lots of peds who are fearful of near-misses and have complained?

*disclaimer - I've not read the FOI request, and possibly just skimmed the article itself. 

and yes, I do think this is draconian

But the dogs are on leads now so there will be less near misses caused by out of control dogs. What? The dogs are ignoring the sign? Oh

Avatar
rogermerriman [131 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
themartincox wrote:

'Responding in July to an enquiry about why the ban on cyclists had been introduced, park manager Ray Brodie said that it was due to ‘near-misses’.

In fairness, isn't this exactly what West Mids police are trying to stamp out? We always complain about near-misses from cars->bikes and how nothing is ever done unless there are collisions? It simply seems that the parks are using the same idea, there are (possibly) lots of peds who are fearful of near-misses and have complained?

*disclaimer - I've not read the FOI request, and possibly just skimmed the article itself. 

and yes, I do think this is draconian

 

Its a very quiet and local route, you'd miss it if you didn't know where it is.

 

I used to use it to get to/from work most days, have done for years. It's a calm traffic free route. The dogs walkers and so on, never seemed worried, I was on nodding/hello/etc terms. In all the years I can only remeber a handful of antisocial runners/cyclist mainly speed it was a 6-8mph sort of place.

Avatar
alexb [162 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:

I'm still waiting for when motorists are told that it's not inconvenient for them to have to push their car for five minutes, just from here to there, in the interests of helping other road users...

This. Can you imagine the uproar if someone promoted a route which added ten minutes to journey times?

All the new infrastructure has been promoted as making only tiny changes to journey times, often over relatively long distances.

When it was suggested Blackfriars Bridge should be a 20mph zone, it was voted down because it would cause disruption to traffic flow.

However, the depressing fact is cocks who decide to race flat out through parks do impact our ability to argue for access. No-one wants to walk through a park being buzzed by cyclists at 20+mph. Sadly, I see this on my way to work (by bike) on a regular basis. You only have to see the Strava segments through London parks to see the speeds some people think are OK and this can be the result.