The Royal Parks has opened a public consultation on plans to make permanent some of its temporary traffic reduction schemes.

The Royal Parks began five trials across six of the parks to close sections of roads on 15 August. This includes making The Mall car-free on weekends during daylight hours and opening up new car-free spaces for visitors to enjoy the natural environment.

The trials will last six months, concluding in February 2021.

Greenwich Park: A full-time closure of the Avenue to motor vehicle traffic.

Hyde Park: A full-time closure to motor vehicle traffic on North Carriage Drive. An additional trial of an extended closure on South Carriage Drive (between Prince of Wales Gate and Queen Elizabeth Gate) on Saturdays, in addition to the current Sunday closures.

St James’s Park and Green Park: Closing The Mall and Constitution Hill to motor vehicle traffic on Saturdays until dusk, in addition to the regular Sunday and Bank Holiday closures.

Richmond Park: On weekdays, restricting all cut-through motor vehicle traffic between Broomfield Hill Car Park and Robin Hood Car Park and a full-time closure of the motor vehicle link between Sheen Gate and Sheen Cross. Additionally, on weekends the trial will restrict all cut-through motor vehicle traffic between Roehampton, Sheen and Richmond Gates to create a quiet zone on the north side of the park.

Bushy Park: A full-time closure of part of Chestnut Avenue between Teddington and Hampton Court Gates to motor vehicle traffic.

Drivers can park in car parks as usual although access routes to certain car parks are restricted. These trials follow the launch of The Royal Parks’ Movement Strategy earlier this year.

The consultation runs until 10 January 2021 – and can be read here.


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  1. Park pootler says:

    It baffles me that parks – green spaces for recreation and relaxation – ever let motor vehicles to use them as short cuts. Can someone give the counter-factual argument? Why should cars be allowed in parks? I honestly don’t understand the other side of the argument

    • ianvisits says:

      If you ban cars from parks, then they have to go somewhere else, and that usually means all the side streets around the park which means more congestion there. But the motor car in a park is simply an evolution from the horse in the park, the carriage in the park, and now the car in the park.

    • Betterbee says:

      “If you ban cars from parks, then they have to go somewhere else” – that assumes that the volume of traffic is fixed irrespective of road space, and that isn’t so. Just as increasing road space tends to increase traffic, removing road space tends to reduce it. So some of the traffic will go somewhere else, but some of it will evaporate – people will decide that that journey isn’t needed, or they’ll use a different mode, or they’ll car share, or…

  2. alfaman says:

    If you ban all cars you ban the very elderly, infirm or disabled from visiting the parks.

  3. Martin Lewis says:

    They are green spaces I agree there needs some reduction in traffic. St james is sandwiched between two busy roads. Birdcage and the mall roads so fumes are around

  4. JP says:

    If the bans are for pollution purposes only then logic dictates that they would have allowed electric vehicles. Logic and authority, what am I saying! Looks like it though.

    Presumably it’s to improve the experience of pedestrians and cyclists and our animal brethren too, allowing us to enjoy a bit of greenery without the smut and row of vehicles ~ even the whine of the silently superior lecky ones.

    • Alex McKenna says:

      Exactly. EVs only from now on.

    • Betterbee says:

      All rubber-tyred vehicles pollute through particulates generated from tyre wear, and most vehicle-generated noise comes from tyres.

      So while EVs are better than internal-combustion vehicles, they’re still some way from being pollution-free or silent.

  5. john parker says:

    @JP yes allow the animals to run free on the parks roads and restrict the humans with cars

    • JP says:

      Quite so, John.
      I’m actually not a mad @ter but am mad enough to have pictured humans being chased by cars until I re-read your comment with my head screwed on.

  6. Jacqui says:

    My mum is disabled and lives in Roehampton. One of her great joys was for me to drive her from Roehampton gate to Isabella Plantations disabled car park so that I could push her round in her wheelchair. Unfortunately due to the traffic restrictions I’ve not been able to do this. The car park is always full at Roehampton and you can’t drive to the disabled one! So one small bright light in her life has now been snuffed out! Sad!

    • andew says:

      Jacqui, I think you should still be able to go ‘the long way round’ and go up the A3 and A308 from Roehampton and in through Kingston, Richmond or Ham Gates any day, or alternatively through Roehampton Gate to the Isabella Plantation Monday – Friday. It’s worth having a look at the Royal Parks website which includes accessibility information:

      Unfortunately the problem at the moment is everyone seems to have the same idea – either using the park as a rat run or not using the official car parks.

      Ideally, to my mind, they would also stop through traffic at Pembroke lodge or use ANPR to charge anyone spending less than 30 mins in the park (say) to deter people using it as a shortcut

  7. Dr Birgith Sims says:

    Richmond Park is a fabulous amenity accessible to the public.
    You can always get away from traffic by a short 5 minute walk. Disabled can park by Isabella plantation and so be away from traffic.
    I have lived 5 minutes from the park for 30 years. I have ridden in the park, cycled, run, dog walked and driven through.
    I genuinely believe there is space for all. Providing we enforce the 20 mph limit and exclude vans and lorries, the fact, that people can cross the park by car, on the way to and from work, gives an enormous boost to wellbeing, before sitting in a dull office for 8 hours. Closing the park to through traffic, simply pushes the same traffic onto the already congested small roads circumnavigating the park, with the ensuing increased pollution from stationary traffic and the extra stress caused by sitting in ever slowly moving jams. I hardly ever drive through the park any more, having stopped work, but it would be very selfish of me to attempt to deprive others of that lovely little bit of nature on the commute. I still regularly use the park for running, walking and cycling and am very pleased to see the increase in all activities. Providing motorists are courteous and stick to the speed limits, for goodness sake, leave the park open to all. We have much greater hassle from the ‘Chelsea tractors’ turning up on sunny weekends to picnic and barbeque just 50 metres from the carpark. Keep the Park for everyone!!!

    • Betterbee says:

      “Closing the park to through traffic, simply pushes the same traffic onto the already congested small roads circumnavigating the park, with the ensuing increased pollution from stationary traffic” – not actually so. See my comment above about traffic evaporation; and free-flow generates more traffic, creating more pollution that if traffic were congested.

      And (apart from tyre wear) EVs generate the same amount of pollution whether stationary or moving – zero.

  8. Brian Armitage says:

    No consultation on The Regent’s Park. I’ve experienced some hair-raising moments while cycling there as cars thunder past at ridiculous speeds.

    • Daniel says:

      Agreed! It’s a street notorious for horrible drivers speeding at 40mph+ because there are no cameras there.

      Outer Circle should be barred from vehicle traffic. In all honestly its 99% parallel to Prince Albert Rd / Park Rd / Albany St there is absolutely no need for car traffic there for anyone that’s not a resident.

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