Greenwich Park’s through-traffic ban to be made permanent

Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich Park, 28 June 2020
Greenwich Park has been closed to through traffic since March 2020, though parking has since returned

The ban on through traffic in Greenwich Park is to be made permanent, the charity that runs the park announced this morning.

Drivers were banned from using the green space as a cut-through in March 2020 as part of restrictions put in place during the pandemic. The restriction has stayed in place since then as part of a trial. Before then, traffic was allowed to use Blackheath Avenue and The Avenue – the hill leading to Greenwich town centre – during weekday rush hours.

“As custodians of some of London’s finest green spaces, we’re delighted to announce that the successful trials to reduce cut-through traffic in our outer parks will be made permanent,” said Tom Jarvis, its director of parks.

“The decision is a key part of ensuring The Royal Parks is delivering on its charitable objects.

“We’d like to thank all those who have been involved in the project since it was launched in July 2020, particularly those who responded to our public consultations.

“We’re looking forward to engaging with our stakeholders and the local communities to see how we may repurpose the spaces available, now that certain roads are closed permanently to vehicles.”

Further afield, the organisation is also blocking traffic from using Bushy Park and restricting drivers’ use of Richmond Park.

A consultation in 2020 found that 81 per cent of Greenwich Park users wanted to see the ban on through traffic made permanent.

In Greenwich, while a study found there had been an increase in traffic on local roads and bus journey times had got longer, it attributed these to the after-effects of the west Greenwich low-traffic neighbourhood (LTN) and the new segregated cycle lane along Trafalgar Road, which has cut capacity at the Vanbrugh Hill junction.

Greenwich Council’s own studies into the west Greenwich LTN concluded that increased congestion in neighbouring areas had been down to other factors. However, it decided to scrap the scheme earlier this year – enraging local residents who now say that traffic jams and antisocial behaviour from drivers are now blighting their streets.

The town hall had asked for the park to be reopened to traffic during the LTN trial, and objected to the ban during the consultation.

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