Reassurances sought as Royal Parks announce plans to reduce traffic in their two local parks

Release Date: 13 July 2020

In response to Royal Parks' decision to restrict through-traffic in Bushy and Richmond Park, Richmond Council has requested Royal Parks support for detailed monitoring of the impacts of these six-month trials. 

Royal Parks have launched their Movement Strategy aimed at reducing the volume of through-traffic in Richmond and Bushy parks.

As a result of the current COVID-19 crisis, both parks have been temporarily fully closed or partially closed to motor vehicles since the end of March.

While the proposals for Richmond Park are not yet specified and the detail regarding changes to Bushy Park are still to be seen, the trials, which will be launched later in the year, seek to provide continued access to motorised vehicles to car parks, while curtailing the use of either open space as a cut through.

Responding to the announcement, Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Chair of the Transport and Air Quality Committee at Richmond Council, said:

“As lockdown continues to ease, car usage is predicted to increase beyond pre-COVID levels. Royal Parks strive to improve visitor experiences in their parks and actively manage these important Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Therefore, as responsibility for managing traffic within Richmond and Bushy Park lies with Royal Parks, they have decided to use those powers to trial measures to reduce levels of motorised through-traffic using these Parks.

“Richmond Council is seeking immediate reassurances regarding the monitoring of traffic volumes and air quality impacts associated with these changes. When these trials launch, Richmond Council will be studying their effects closely to ensure that residents are not adversely impacted by any changes. 

If either of these trials result in poor air quality, a decline in road safety or additional congestion in nearby communities where our residents live and work, then they may need amendment or could even prove unsustainable. 

“We encourage residents to share their views with the Royal Parks during the trial phase.  We also welcome direct feedback that will inform the Council’s overall view and ongoing dialogue with the Royal Parks.”

To stay informed of the process and progress of the trials, people are encouraged to sign up to the Movement Strategy mailing list.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P282/20

Updated: 30 July 2020