Royal Parks are creating a “movement strategy” to control how people travel to – and in – their parks
Roehampton Gate - could this be the view of the future? - Google Streetview
Traffic could be banned from using Richmond Park as a shortcut by the end of 2019. The Royal Parks are creating a “movement strategy” to control how people travel to – and in – their eight parks across London, and the charity is inviting people to give their views.
In a paper released alongside the consultation, the Royal Parks cite London’s growing population and the need to maintain “high quality open space”.
It wants to “priorities walking” and make sure transport through the parks is “sensitive” to wildlife.
Mat Bonomi, Head of Transport for The Royal Parks, said: “London’s population is projected to grow to 10 million residents by 2035* so more and more people are going to be using our parks to seek refuge from the busy city. We need to be prepared for this and do all we can to ensure that London remains one of the world’s greatest cities in which to live.
“The development of our movement strategy will ensure we are best placed to manage our parks effectively and efficiently in the future. As the charity managing over 5,000 acres of historic parkland and green space across London, we must ensure that we conserve and enhance these unique spaces and support the health and happiness of Londoners.”
The document also states the parks “are not intended to be commuter through-routes”, and claims Londoners use the parks to “seek refuge from the busy city” – a need that will only get worse as the population rises.
London Cycling Campaign has welcomed the prospect of the parks being free from traffic. Infrastructure campaigner, Simon Munk, said: “We absolutely support it. We think it’s long overdue.These parks are the lungs of London, but they have massive amounts of traffic. It’s bad for air quality and it makes cycling and walking less comfortable.
“Richmond Park should be a place where people can linger, relax, walk, cycle, improve their fitness. But instead it can be a hostile space with a main road carving through it.
“At the end of the day, parks should be a place for peace and clean air, not for people to use as a shortcut to save a couple of minutes of their journey time.”
A discussion paper, available at www.royalparks.org.uk/movement, sets out the draft vision and principles for the charity’s Movement Strategy. These summarise the organisation’s aspirations and provide the basis for developing a series of bold projects and proposals across all eight parks. The deadline to provide input is 14 July 2019. The new Movement Strategy will then be launched later in the year.
Written with contributions from Calum Rutter, Local Democracy Reporter
*GLA Intelligence, September 2017
June 13, 2019