Cyclists are to be allowed back into Richmond Park in south-west London from next Tuesday 2 June – but only at weekday commuting times. News of the partial re-opening has been welcomed by campaigners, while acknowledging that it represents the “first steps” in the full return of cycling there.
The Royal Parks, which manages the park, says that cyclists will be allowed into the park before 10am and after 4pm on Mondays to Fridays.
All cyclists other than NHS staff travelling to and from work and children aged under 12 years have been banned from the park since 28 March due to safety concerns including congestion and the difficulty of maintaining social distance.
In a statement on its website, the Royal Parks said: “We will undertake a managed re-introduction of cycling back into Richmond Park to provide access for weekday commuters.
“This will allow us to monitor and measure the impact of the re-introduction and whether any further measures are required.”
The details are as follows:
The park roads on the eastern side of the park around Priory Lane and Broomfield Hill will be temporarily suspended to adult cyclists at all times, in order to maintain safety and provide a safe area for children and families to play
Tim Lennon, borough co-ordinator at Richmond Cycling Campaign, told road.cc: “We're delighted that the park is re-opening to cycling.
“It seems clear that these are first steps, and we can hope that we'll see concrete proposals to bring Richmond Park into line with government policy both on discouraging the use of public transport and private cars, and on meaningfully enabling cycling.
“For the first time that we're aware, this will also include a meaningful attempt to consistently measure the volumes of cycle traffic in the park as well, so we're looking forward to seeing this data.
“We told the Royal Parks weeks ago that this was the wrong decision, and it's good they've changed their mind. Now it's time for them to properly engage with their Richmond Park stakeholders to work out a better way forward."
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.