Greenwich Park will be closed to through traffic for another year after a consultation found strong support for blocking the green space to motorists.
The north-south route through the park had been open to cars at peak times until nearly a year ago, when it was closed to traffic as part of coronavirus measures.
While parking was allowed in the summer, a formal trial of the closure to full traffic began, preventing motorists from using the park as a cut-through from Blackheath to Greenwich.
Royal Parks, the charity that runs the park, said that 81 per cent of respondents to a consultation wanted to see the ban made permanent – the highest figure of five parks surveyed.
Now the closure will stay in place for another year “to ensure a clear picture of the impact of the scheme”.
Andrew Scattergood, the Royal Parks’ chief executive, said: “These trials have proved that there is support from park visitors to limit cut-through traffic and create car-free spaces, where people can enjoy spending time in the natural environment to boost their health and happiness.
“We’ve had an enormous response to the consultation, and we want to thank everyone for their participation and for sharing their views.
“We’ll continue to work with our neighbours to monitor these projects and their impact and continue to listen to the views of park visitors.”
The Greenwich Park closure coincided with planters blocking through traffic in streets to the west of the park that had suffered from endemic rat-running. A formal trial of the Hills and Vales “low-traffic neighbourhood” ended last week, but the closures are likely to stay in place for another six months while a decision is made on making the scheme permanent.
A similar scheme in streets east of the park is likely to be introduced by Greenwich Council after traffic levels increased on Maze Hill following the two sets of road closures – with residents asked in a consultation whether they would want the closures to be full-time or just at certain times of the day.
853 revealed last month that Greenwich Council had objected to the park road closure because it wanted it to be used as a temporary through-route during the morning rush hour while traffic levels remained high after the first lockdown.
Park bosses are currently consulting on a scheme to build a new visitor centre in the south-east corner of the park as part of revised plans for an £8 million revamp of the open space.
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