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Regent’s Park Cyclists to help police in campaign aimed at those riding without lights

Cyclists will accompany police who will stop riders without lights, either warning or fining them

Today sees the launch of a new visibility campaign involving Regent’s Park Cyclists and Royal Parks Police. The campaign is aimed at educating cyclists who commute through Regent’s Park on the importance of having lights on their bike and being visible to other road users.

Those stopped while riding without lights will be given a warning by the police (but not a formal caution) and their details will be taken. If they are stopped a second time, they will be handed a £60 penalty notice.

A member of Regent’s Park Cyclists will accompany each police officer. They will be there to emphasise the importance of being visible and to give recommendations on lights and shops where lights can be bought. Free lights and discount codes will also be handed out where possible.

Writing on their Facebook page, Regent’s Park Cyclists say: “As cyclists who regularly ride in the Park we know that RP is poorly lit (partly because of heritage constraints on street lights) and therefore having good lights and wearing reflective clothing whilst riding in the park is particularly important.”

The campaign will run today, Wednesday and Thursday this week and then at dates to be determined by the availability of police officers, up until Christmas.

The aim of Regent’s Park Cyclists is to promote all types of cycling within the park, encouraging responsible cycling and continued development of the area in line with best practice of other major urban parks.

After becoming aware that red light jumping was a concern to local residents and other users of the park earlier this year, the organisation launched its Stop Means Stop campaign. During the campaign, members of the group designed a logo and campaigned regularly, handing out flyers to cyclists and collecting data on the number and profile of red light jumpers. They claim the work carried out led to a drop in red light jumping from 30 per cent in early July to less than five per cent at the end of August.

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

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paulrattew | 8 years ago
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The reality of people hitting stationary vehicles is probably that they are staring at their bike computer - trying to maintain a pre-determined speed or power in full TT mindset - concentrating on pushing the pedals hard rather than on looking where they are going.

Also probably accounts for a large portion of the cyclist on cyclist crashes - either swinging out to overtake slower riders without looking properly or careering headlong into slower traffic because they're notlooking where they are going.

The efforts of Regent's Park Cyclists are to be commended. As cyclists we shouldn't moan when the police enforce the law (e.g. moaning about having to carry lights) - we should just be pushing for the equal application of the law. It seems RPC have been doing this and working well with the local community groups that have a lot of influence. Limiting rat-running possibilities through RP should make it a much more pleasant place to ride. We cyclists need to do our best to also make it a nice place to ride by being polite, considerate and law-abiding

Yoda RPR | 8 years ago

PhilRuss, actually I am not sure that it has anything to do with cyclists on phones. We very rarely see that actually. I think it's just a bit of brain fade tbh. Perhaps because people get so comfortable going around in the same circle that they get too comfortable.

Having met the Police again this week, it's an area that they have some ideas on. So lets see.

Looks like cars not paying attention will be very much on the agenda as well. Some good active policing coming up there, which I am excited about.

PhilRuss | 8 years ago

Yoda RPR says he doesn't understand why cyclists are "riding head-down into parked vehicles"....I can't either, but I just wonder if some of them might be paying more attention to their phones, texting, etcetera....I frequently see riders doing that; not just drivers.  Five seconds head-down, one second's glance ahead, up, down, up, down.  I avoid hitting parked vehicles by looking ahead. 

Yoda RPR | 8 years ago

Thanks for the feedback, we will continue to push the speeding vehicle issue - but they have been out to deal with it although to date it's not been a massive safety issue. The police need to prioritise perceived vs real (statistical) dangers when deploying their limited resources.

The main dangers to cyclists in Regent's Park are 1) Cycling head down into parked vehicles* 2) being doored 3) Cyclist on Cyclist accidents.  Accidents involving pedestrians or moving vehicles and cyclists are actually very rare. *by far the biggest risk and most serious consequences.

At least three times in recent memory, this has been into the back of the big red police van... parked very clearly. I don't understand how this happens, but it does and there have been a couple of serious injuries. I would be keen to hear how we raise awareness about this and stop it. It would be ideal if there were no parked cars on the Outer Circle, but that's probably not realistic in the short term

We have raised the TRP vehicle parking issue, but from what I have seen it's at the margin.  Additionally, we have also raised the issue of large Zoo vehicles being reversed into the road during the hours of darkness, I asked the teams seeing the vehicles reverse to wear high viz.

In terms of the lights / viz campaign, you read our minds. Evans have offered a good discount voucher, as have a couple of smaller shops. Additionally, we have extracted some free lights from Wesminster Council. We would welcome more help with this though, if you have time.

hampstead_bandit | 8 years ago

Anything that can improve safety for all users in Regent's Park is only a good thing. 

People cycling at night without lights are a danger to themselves and others. #

I commute from Camden to Canary Wharf and back every day and its frightening how many "cyclists" are riding in the dark with no light and dark clothing. I've had a couple of very near misses with light less cyclists riding on the wrong side of CS3, you really have to keep your wits about you. 

It would be great if the campaigners and Police could partner with retailers like Evans, Cycle Surgery and independants in the area to provide a 10% discount voucher for buying lights. This would bring some trade into bike shop and make lights a little more affordable for those caught riding without lights. 


The 2 biggest issues I feel when riding in Regent's Park is speeding motorists, and illegal parking on double yellow lines, especially on corners and near junctions. Its surprising how many "official" parks vehicles (gardening trucks) and delivery lorries I see parked this way. 

Regarding speeding, its great if the Police are actively targeting speeding motorists but I cannot recall ever having seen this activity in the Park, and only limited blitz campaigns across the City once in a while. 


When I am riding at a legal 32km/h (20mph - the entire LB of Camden has a 20mph blanket speed limit) and motorists are going past me easily doing 50-60mph, judging by the distance they travel ahead in seconds, something is very wrong with enforcement. Let's not even get into the number of motorists using cell phones and driving into the ASL on red traffic lights.

Anything the Police can do to step up speeding enforcement would be most welcome! 

Yoda RPR | 8 years ago

I completely get this point and it's very much at the forefront of my mind when in dialogue with various stakeholders.

When I first walked into one of these stakeholder meetings however, you would not believe the anti-cyling retoric that was being stated as fact. To a great extent that's changed, but to do this we need to be a positive force for good and part of the community. Lights are the law, helmets are not - so that's a simple one.


Username | 8 years ago
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Yoda, hat's off to you and the gang for the work you have done so far with RPC and engaging with the various authorities. I take your point and cyclists, and other park users too, should be grateful for the positive effect you've had on the forthcoming proposals.

However, emishi's point is valid. The CTC nationally opposed the original leglislation to force cyclists to carry lights. Back in the '20s they accurately forsaw the world of victim-blaming we have entered now.

They lost, and lights are mandatory now but where will this stop? Will Regent's Park Pedestrians be campaigning for dog-walkers to wear flashing lights? 

Once we all have lights will you be campaigning for us all to have helmets?

jollygoodvelo | 8 years ago
1 like

All this sounds eminently sensible and constructive to me.

Edgeley | 8 years ago

Can I just say, on the subject of Regent's Park, that it is one of the little joys in life to admire the giraffes when you cycle past them.

Yoda RPR | 8 years ago

Thanks for the comments, all very welcome.

What emishi55 is missing of course is that The Royal Parks / TFL are working to almost completely remove rat run vehicles from the Outer Circle, by access restriction (gate closure) The estimate is an 80% reduction in vehicles using that road, which is long-overdue and certainly not what the park was originally designed for.

Cyclists were not being well represented in the Royal Parks and hence the creation of RPC. TRP policy is driven by various stakeholder groups, who seem to have a lot of time on their hands (often retired). Alot of these groups don't have your Dutch-style objectives in mind and are often very fearful of cyclists (much more so than 4x4s strangely) - so that drives policy if left un-checked. The only way to counter this important influence is to spend time at their stakeholder meetings, engage locals on their concerns, etc.

In terms of Policing. It's simple to say that they should focus on other areas, but by actually engaging with the Police, you can highlight areas of concern / risk, influence where they spend their time. An important part of their role is to meet stakeholders and deal with concerns & issues in order of priority. We have done that & your concerns around vehicle behaviour are being addressed, speeding cars have been targeted & fined for example (they don't just get a telling off, some free lights and a reflective sticker from RPC). There is not an issue with cyclists speeding and the police have never spent time on this, but we are making sure that cyclists play their part in treating the park (and all its users) with respect. No light jumping (until the law changes perhaps), etc. This approach has had a very positive influence on the dialogue with all parties and in the end cyclists / pedestrians will be much much better off.

I share you view of encouraging & normalising cycling, but it's not going to happen overnight - rather  a progressive move towards this right across London and the UK. Perhaps spending your time being a  stakeholder, writing letters to influence positive change, constructrive engagement and pro-active positive lobbying will achieve this quicker than spending your time on criticising those that are doing that on a pro-cycling forum. I am sure that RPC and the Police would welcome your efforts.


VeloPeo replied to Yoda RPR | 8 years ago

Yoda RPR wrote:

*very sensible explaination*



fenix | 8 years ago

I'd want cyclists to have lights and reflectives are a good idea too.

If I was riding there I'd not want to hit an unlit cyclist and reflectives are a good backup. Lights fail sometimes.

VeloPeo | 8 years ago

Amid all that bluster, are you seriously trying to suggest it's acceptable to cycle without lights after dark? 

emishi55 | 8 years ago

Regent’s Park Cyclists say: “... we know that RP is poorly lit (partly because of heritage constraints on street lights) and therefore having good lights and wearing reflective clothing whilst riding in the park is particularly important.”


So, this is the murderous idiocy of a 'heritage rule' that says that not only does one side of the road have to stay in darkness (putting pedestrians and cyclists at risk) but also - rat-running motor vehicles can invade this green space risking great harm (oiks I have witnessed speeding in their 4x4s don’t take kindly to the inconvenience of parents cyling along through this park with children - and have displayed a clever trick of producing clouds of exhaust that hang in the air as they accelerate past).

Those of us who are aiming for Dutch-style normalised everyday cycling - ie no helmets - no high vis - just regular clothes  - are hardly going to be enamoured to specific cycling groups cosying up to police victim-blaming (when was the last time you saw a police officer dealing with a motorist for speeding / parking in an ASL box / driving & parking on the footway / running red lights / operating a dangerous machine whilst influenced by excessively loud pounding music / tailgating  / failing to indicate / aggressive acceleration etc etc ?)...come to think of it when did you last see any traffic police? Thanks to the tremendous insight of Gideon and his cuts to services.

But the Royal Parks are blessed with funding from the city - enough for two police vehicles to patrol Hampstead Heath fining pensioners for straying from designated routes? That’s £520+ and a court appearance.  

  And... whilst I am NOT advocating ever endangering pedestrians by jumping red lights in the park or elsewhere, even the four 2016 mayoral candidates have understood and expressed support for, the Idaho rule - which states that when safe to do so - turning left for example, cyclists can be free to go against red. This creates less traffic congestion too.

Royal Parks have dragged their feet for years over the Regents Park filtering measures that would make the park (not to mention their particularly overzealous employee that succeded in holding up the E -W CS route past the palace for months (where even the Canary Wharf mob hadn't managed to do so). 

Will the sports cyclists’ get their own police assistance uniform? Will they be fining speeding cyclists?

Seems like someone's being duped -  isn’t that how the old  divide and rule routine  works?

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