A petition calling for cars to be restricted from using Greenwich Park and the other Royal Parks passed 2,000 signatures yesterday.
Car parking was banned in all Royal Parks from the start of the coronavirus crisis, but resumed in Regent’s Park on Saturday and in Hyde Park today.
Roads in Greenwich Park remain closed, along with Richmond Park and Bushy Park. The Greenwich Park road closure has opened up Blackheath Avenue – the wide north-south road from the Wolfe memorial to the Blackheath gates – to walkers, cyclists, roller skaters and more.
The petition from Rachael Naylor calls on vehicles in all Royal Parks to be restricted, Greenwich Cyclists has been promoting it as a way to see the current situation in Greenwich Park made permanent.
Before the pandemic, through traffic was allowed to use the park the evening rush hour, with Blackheath Avenue effectively acting as a large car park at all other times.
Royal Parks started consulting last summer on a new “movement strategy” for all its parks, stating that “our park roads are not intended to be commuter through-routes for motor vehicles”. Calls for a ban on through traffic have traditionally been resisted by residents to the west of the park, but a Greenwich Council scheme planned before the lockdown plans to deal with rat-running in the Crooms Hill area.
Mat Bonomi, head of transport for The Royal Parks said: “As stated in The Royal Parks’ Movement Strategy, we are committed to reducing the amount of through traffic within our parks. We are working with stakeholders and hope to share tangible plans in the near future.”
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