London’s Royal Parks are for people, not cars – let’s have car-free Royal Parks
TO: Andrew Scattergood, Chief Executive, The Royal Parks
Speeding cars make the Royal Parks dangerous for our children and all other visitors
On a recent visit to Hyde Park my young family and I were almost run over by a speeding Land Rover SUV while crossing the road at a marked crossing. The Royal Parks should not be used as rat runs for vehicles speeding through to get to other destinations, endangering children, adult pedestrians, and wildlife.
All visitors to the Royal Parks from the youngest children to our most elderly citizens should feel safe. The current situation means that depending on the time of day, park visitors’ health is endangered by a combination of speeding traffic and toxic exhaust fumes from idling traffic.
Shouldn’t local residents and visitors to our great city reasonably expect to be safe from the threat of death and grievous bodily harm by speeding cars, and the deadly health impacts of choking diesel exhaust when visiting the Royal Parks?
Speeding through traffic is killing Royal Parks wildlife
Alongside humans, other animals using the parks, including the deer in Richmond Park are routinely killed by speeding vehicles. Over 20 deer are either killed or injured each year by speeding traffic. In light of this and my own recent experience involving young children in a pram, I am requesting that you please trial all of the Royal Parks as free from motor vehicle traffic in the week leading up to Car Free Day on Sunday, 22 September 2019.
Let’s have motor vehicle-free Royal Parks for Car Free Day and beyond
This petition asks that you please consider making all of the Royal Parks motor vehicle-free zones for at least one week ahead of London Car Free Day on 22 September 2019 as part of a longer-term transition to motor vehicle-free parks.
I understand that there are a number of stock responses to this request indicating why this request is an impossibility. Rather than replying with reasons for why this might not be possible, this petition is asking you to show leadership on this issue as the executive of the Royal Parks and to make it happen.
If you do have concerns over perceived logistical, political or legal barriers to a motor vehicle-free week in the Royal Parks, I would be happy to work with you and other stakeholders to overcome these challenges in time for Car Free Day next September. Working together, we can make this happen!
Of course, this request for a motor vehicle-free week assumes that access would be maintained for essential deliveries to park cafes, emergency vehicles and for disabled visitors, as is standard practice. I would be happy to discuss different mechanical and automatic bollard and gate options that could facilitate this on a more routine basis.
Background on the Royal Parks
There are eight Royal Parks covering almost 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres) of land in Greater London. These are Bushy Park; Green Park, Greenwich Park; Hyde Park; Kensington Gardens; Regent’s Park; Richmond Park; and St. James’ Park. Greenwich Park, Green Park, Richmond Park, Regent’s Park, and Hyde Park all have cars speeding through them.