Cyclist Taken To Hospital After Richmond Park Collision

Car involved crashes through roadside barrier

The car involved in the Richmond Park collision
The car involved in the Richmond Park collision

A cyclist was injured after being hit by a car in Richmond park this Thursday morning (18 February).

The collision took place near Ham Gate and left the cyclist with facial injuries requiring hospital treatment. The injuries are described as not life threatening.

The car which is understood to be an electric vehicle, left the road, crashing through a barrier and was badly damaged.

There are no reports of any injuries to the driver and any passengers. The airbag in the car was deployed.

The London Cycling campaign has called on the Royal Parks to take “urgent action” by closing the park to through traffic.

They tweeted: “End this preventable and senseless road menace.

“It is unacceptable that our parks have become places where these kinds of preventable incidents are so common. We call on @theroyalparks to take real action – stop the rat running, close the park to through-traffic to reduce this road menace.”

They added: “We wish the cyclist makes a full and speedy recovery from this tragic and preventable incident.”

In August the Royal Parks implemented a series of six month trials to reduce cut through traffic in their parks.

In Richmond, the measures restrict all cut-through motor traffic between Broomfield Hill Car Park and Robin Hood Car Park on weekdays.

This also includes a full-time closure of the motor vehicle link between Sheen Gate and Sheen Cross.

On weekends, the trial restricts all cut-through motor traffic between Roehampton, Sheen and Richmond Gates to create a quiet zone on the north side of the park.

The trial is due to finish at the end of the month, when the Royal Parks will decide if they should extend, make permanent or revoke the measures.

Now many more people are calling for the parks to completely close to through traffic.

Opposition transport spokeswoman at Wandsworth council, councillor Jo Rigby said,“Everything I read about Richmond Park puts me off walking or cycling there. It sounds completely mismanaged as a public space. This was collision was preventable.”

She added. “I’m here to campaign for safe walking and cycling. This incident shows the park isn’t set up for that.”

Local resident Jonathan Callaway says he regularly walks and cycles in the park, and that “Covid-driven overuse” is making through traffic issues worse.

At the beginning of the pandemic a number of measures were introduced to help with social distancing, including the closure of the park’s roads and car parks.

At the end of March even cycling was temporarily banned in the park (other than for under 12s and NHS workers) to prevent congestion at the park gates.

However, since reopening to both in the summer, the park has proved popular with visitors and has seen a lot of traffic congestion and speeding club cyclists.

Mr Callaway said, “It’s a lovely green space and important SSSI [Site of Special Scientific Interest] but groaning under the sheer weight of human users. Better traffic policing including more speed checks would help.”

Another user said they enjoyed using the park as a cylist weekly but also travel with their family by car, and do not want to see them banned from the park as they help to make it more accessible for older and disabled residents.

“I would like to see more education, fines and enforcement on bad driving and cycling,” he said.

A spokesperson for The Royal Parks said: “We can confirm that a road traffic accident took place in Richmond Park between a driver and a cyclist on the morning of Thursday 18 February. The police and ambulance service both attended the site and we understand no-one was badly injured. We wish both parties a speedy recovery.”

“The Metropolitan Police will investigate the cause of the accident.”

They did not respond to further questions about road safety in the park.

Written with contributions from Sian Bailey - Local Democracy Reporter

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February 19, 2021