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Richmond Park open again to all cyclists all day long on weekdays from tomorrow

Restrictions will still apply at weekends, however as managed reopening continues

London’s Richmond Park will reopen to all cyclists during weekdays from tomorrow, Monday 22 June – but current restrictions at weekends will remain in force, when only children aged 12 and under, and NHS staff travelling to work, will be allowed to ride there.

The ban was first introduced on 28 March on the grounds of safety and to ensure social distancing and avoid congestion at the park gates, with motor vehicles already having been banned from the park.

Restrictions were first eased on Tuesday 2 June, since when the park has been accessible to all cyclists during commuting times on weekdays, that is before 10am and after 4pm. Adult cyclist will remain excluded from certain routes in the park.

In a message on its website, Royal Parks, which owns and manages Richmond Park, outlined the new restrictions that will apply from tomorrow:

Cycling permitted for all cyclists at any time on weekdays

Weekend cycling currently for keyworkers and under 12s with accompanying family

The red route is for children under 12 only. Any family accompanying them must be on foot

The park roads on the eastern side of the park around Priory Lane and Broomfield Hill are temporarily suspended to all adult cyclists at all times, in order to maintain safety and provide a safe area for children and families to enjoy

Cyclists are permitted to use the shared access Tamsin Trail around the perimeter of the park on weekdays only

Disability access

Blue badge holders can park in Sheen Gate car park, accessible via Sheen Gate, every day from 7am-7pm

Please speak to security and show your blue badge to gain access

Please call 0300 061 2000 if you need assistance.

At the time of the first relaxation of the restrictions earlier this month, 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 joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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11 comments

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Kizer | 3 years ago
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You can tell it pains them to let cyclists in.

I may be wrong, but I believe anyone with key worker status may also use the park at any time when commuting.

They've closed the road from Kingston gate to Robin Hood roundabout gate, presumably to stop speed trialists, and effectively altering the original circuit.

This has led to more cyclists using the central path and mixing with pedestrians. I saw plod with a speed gun on that path last week.

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Cyclax Maximus replied to Kizer | 3 years ago
1 like
Kizer wrote:

You can tell it pains them to let cyclists in. I may be wrong, but I believe anyone with key worker status may also use the park at any time when commuting. They've closed the road from Kingston gate to Robin Hood roundabout gate, presumably to stop speed trialists, and effectively altering the original circuit. This has led to more cyclists using the central path and mixing with pedestrians. I saw plod with a speed gun on that path last week.

Yes I think it does pain them to let cyclists in. As long as it stays sensible and you don't get big groups stopping and bunching up, it should be ok. That's what messed it up in the first place.

I was over there earlier this morning, and it's an absolute dream without any sodding rat-run motorists clogging it all up.

Most of the 'Speed triallists' I see at RP, are moulded into the TT position arms resting on the bar extensions doing about 12mph. Always makes me chuckle that. Perhaps it impresses the ladies?

Still, at least they're on bikes and not in cars...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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eburtthebike | 3 years ago
5 likes

"We got it wrong, we know we got it wrong, everyone knows we got it wrong,  so we're going to gradually put things back to what they were, without ever admitting that we got it wrong."

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brooksby replied to eburtthebike | 3 years ago
3 likes

Exactly. At time of writing we are still supposed to be socially distanced, so for the purposes for which they claimed to have closed the park, nothing has changed! So if it was right and proper to close the park in March, how come it can be opened up now?

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Cyclax Maximus replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
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brooksby wrote:

Exactly. At time of writing we are still supposed to be socially distanced, so for the purposes for which they claimed to have closed the park, nothing has changed! So if it was right and proper to close the park in March, how come it can be opened up now?

They closed the park because social distancing was being ignored.

The difference now, from what I've heard is a possible feasibility study, with staggered cycling days/times allowed. If it starts getting silly again, we'll all be booted out.

Yes I agree with you Covid is still out there, but the threat level has diminished somewhat. 3 months down the line it had to be relaxed at some point, as some semblance of normality starts to return. 

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Simon E replied to Cyclax Maximus | 3 years ago
5 likes
Cyclax Maximus wrote:

They closed the park because social distancing was being ignored.

LCC and others seemed to be saying that they used a few images of cyclists as an excuse to close the park to cyclists only, even though cyclists weren't the only ones ignoring the social distancing rules.

Funny how they have repeatedly refused to close the park to cars even when many drivers couldn't stick to speed limits.

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mpdouglas replied to Simon E | 3 years ago
1 like

I noticed yesterday, that they have installed data logging wires at several places in the park (the parallel pair of cables you sometimes see on regular roads). The only thing they can possibly be doing with that is gathering data on volume and speed of cyclists. You wait and see, the study will reveal that our speeds are too high and some punitive measures will be introduced to deal with it. If we were smart, and organised, we'd make sure that everyone rode over those data wires at a sensible speed!

I also note that, in the absence of cars, the roadways are fair game for anyone that wants to use them. Joggers, dog walkers, walkers who can't be bothered to use the footways, etc. I warned about this in my response to the consultation - be careful what you wish for and do NOT totally eliminate cars. A moderate volume of cars is actually very helpful in keeping all the randoms off the road and in keeping the less experienced cyclists from meandering all over the road in a highly unpredictable fashion. I've commuted through the park every day for 8 years and I cant say the cars have ever been a problem. I know it's different at the weekend, when the long queues form at the car parks and cars stop at random for some wildlife photography, but thatcan be solved without a blanket ban.

And yes, they are using speed guns quite regularly. The mini crossroad, where the central path narrows, just before Ham Cross, seems to be their favourite spot. 25mph seems to be the trigger level for them taking action. They pull you over for a chat if you are just below this (don't ask me how I know!). I'm still bemused that they have forced all cyclists through the 10mph middle, and left the Broomfiled/Roehampton stretches solely for children. Surely the opposite would make far more sense?! The current scheme forces conflict between the various user types.

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brooksby replied to mpdouglas | 3 years ago
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mpdouglas wrote:

... The current scheme forces conflict between the various user types.

Good lord!  You don't think that they are manufacturing conflict so as to justify another future ban?

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Kizer replied to brooksby | 3 years ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:
mpdouglas wrote:

... The current scheme forces conflict between the various user types.

Good lord!  You don't think that they are manufacturing conflict so as to justify another future ban?

😂

Which is exactly what they did when they closed the wide road gates, forcing everyone through VERY narrow pedestrian gates, then banned cyclists because of crowding at the gates. Rather than just putting cones out.

You couldn't make it up.

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Kizer replied to mpdouglas | 3 years ago
1 like

One of their plans was to only allow car access to car parks, so you can only enter and leave via the same gate. This would vastly reduce cars in the park, especially fast rat runners.

I fear they may back pedal on this because the luddites running the park are car loving bike haters.

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Kizer replied to Simon E | 3 years ago
0 likes

Indeed. A study a few years ago showed 85% of drivers broke the speed limit in the park. But this didn't lead to the immediate banning of all vehicles.

Their issue is mainly with lycras on road bikes. They talk of not wanting to turn the park into a velodrome. Their words, not mine.

I don't know what the answer is. Perhaps a very strictly observed 20 mph speed limit so cycling within the park is done at a more leisurely pace.

And they need to permanently ban through-traffic so vehicles can't use it as a rat run.

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