• My eldest is 6. If we ride to the park and back from the park and do the boring bit of path near the nearest gate, its not really a great day out for anyone. She'd be knackered in no time, having spent her time riding on pavements with all manner of street furniture and people to dodge as well as stopping every few meters for a crossing we'd have to navigate. All while my three year old is in the wee-ride on my bike. I'm probably on the road, eldest on the pavement, me yelling instructions. not relaxing/10.

    Because like you, it seems we are arguing for our own best interests.

    Well, maybe a little. But if you ban parking in the park I won't be able to do what we often do, and neither will anyone else who wants to. However, at the moment loads of cyclists happily use the park everyday, so in preventing lots of people from accessing the park how they want/need to you only enhance an enjoyment others already have.

    I should say, I also commute through the park everyday on my bike, so would also benefit at certain times to there being less or no cars - it's just there is clearly a balance to be struck.

  • Thanks Oliver, the solutions to better access to the parks in Zone 1 & 2, where the use of public transport, taxis etc are easily available, are not the same in outer boroughs where housing density is lower, public transport less accessible, and car use is part of the "culture".

  • So you should be arguing to improve cycling facilities outside the park too. :)

    In Oz, adults could ride on the pavement if they were with a child - is this not the case here?

    I don't know what the answers are, all I know is I want fewer cars. I have bigger issues with on-street parking on the way there than I do RP itself. I don't go to RP very often anyway because it's so full of cars, many of them driven by people more interested in looking at deer than where they're steering. I'd normally prefer to ride at pace where cars are going in a straight line and paying (some) attention to the road. I'm already in a group of people turn off the park because of the numbers of vehicles in it.

    Maybe a Park and ride type system where the roads only lead to carparks and the carparks have e-bikes ready to roll out?

  • I'm sure there's a way - it's about whats actually achievable - and to my mind the simplest thing to do in the short term is prevent people using it as a cut through. To do this, but still allow cyclists to do laps, you're going to need number plate system around the spoke model i think. You can't have physical gates to stop people going around as this would not work with the volume and type of cyclists.

    In terms of pavement cycling - I've got no issues with the law - i'm not worried anyone will get into trouble, but pavements are fucking nuts to try and ride down. So many things to crash into. It is technically harder for a young kid to ride on the pavement - avoiding lamp posts, parking meters, random electricity junction boxes, peoples bins, people, dog poo, dogs....The benefit is crashing in to those things will likely result in a scraped knee/some tears. The consequences on the road are higher, and they don't have the awareness and road craft for it to be safe enough. There is no way the misses would let me take her on the road all the way to the park anyway!

    Better cycling infrastructure would be fab, but on our tight twisty residential roads - I'm not holding my breath.

    Cycling in Richmond Park can still be a delight. It's pretty quiet on the roads any evening, and they shut the gates at dusk so you can ride uninterrupted. Nothing quite like riding through in the middle of night when it feels like you're the only one in there.

  • Nothing quite like riding through in the middle of night when it feels like you're the only one in there.

    I've done that too, training for a 24hr. It was fucked. The animals are more crazy than the drivers!

  • My eldest is 6. If we ride to the park and back from the park and do the boring bit of path near the nearest gate, its not really a great day out for anyone.

    Cargo bike? Trailler? Trail-gator?

    It's pretty mad that we accept pollution and rat-running to make life easier for parents. Especially as the main beneficiaries (by volume) aren't actually parents but instead perfectly fit and healthy non-parents who could cycle or walk but prefer to save five minutes.

    Being a parent of young children is only 6-10 years of your life, whatabout the other 60 years when you could be enjoying a low traffic, low polution park?

    (I'm the parent of a 3 year old, fwiw, so I know how annoying and exhausting moving children around is.)

  • They should just dig a tunnel under the whole thing so the drivers can all breathe their fumes down there away from everyone else. Done, solved.

  • Being a parent is only 6-10 years of your life

    You fattening yours up for meat? I've heard i'm in this for the next 20 years minimum....

    Sort of get your point - but not really. I'd love to live in some car free eutopia - but I don't think this will be delivered by a consultation on royal park access.

    I own a diy cargo bike, but that still won't work for getting two children, and the eldests bike to the park. That said, when the eldest was younger we did give the trailgator a good go - this was two years ago now. They do grow surprisingly fast. Picture to prove I do support sustainable transport solutions at heart!

  • I mean, you literally can, so I don't see how you can say that.

    But you really can't, if you want to take kids on bikes (I'm just seconding what @Scrabble has said). I'd love to go on family bike trips to the park, but I don't have a car and it's a massive arseache as a result, which means we do it very infrequently.

    On my own I can get to Richmond Park in less than half an hour to do some laps and/or grab a coffee while watching the deer. To do that I'm happy to pick a route which avoids really unpleasant roads where possible, but uses them when there's no other option. If I want to go with kids route planning is different, since you want a nice route (what's the point of heading to a park for an hour's ride in nice green space if you spend another hour riding next to a dual carriageway?) but you also need to keep the ride short, so you can use your energy enjoying the park and not arrive knackered. Sometimes there simply is no route that satisfies those criteria, which leaves public transport...

    ...buses are obviously not an option, so what about trains? Going to Richmond station itself would then require a 2-mile uphill ride through a busy town centre; Mortlake requires cycling along one of London's patented busy-road-full-of-impatient-drivers-that­'s-just-too-narrow-for-two-cars-to-pass,­ which is fine if you're on your own riding at 15-25mph, but really stressful at <10mph with kids; North Sheen is a bit quieter, but still more comfortable on the pavement until you get onto Sheen Common, and you have to carry all the family's bikes up and over a fairly steep footbridge at the station. I'll probably try Barnes next time and risk the stop-start cycle lane down Priory Lane, but it will still require carrying of bikes up and down stairs at the station.

    In short it's a massive pain. The best option would be better, quieter cycle routes from stations to the park, but I can totally understand why people take their car, especially if they want to do it with more than one child and/or with just one parent. It's also worth thinking about access for cyclists with disabilities who can't carry their cycles.

  • But you really can't

    I mean, I have, so unless those buses no longer exist, you're simply avoiding fact.

    The best option would be better, quieter cycle routes from stations to everywhere

    ftfy

  • I mean, I have, so unless those buses no longer exist, you're simply avoiding fact.

    Read it again:

    "But you really can't, if you want to take kids on bikes"

    ...you can't put a family's worth of bikes on a bus.

    The best option would be better, quieter cycle routes from stations to everywhere

    Very true!

  • Yeah, you're replying to my comment about public transport to the park being available.
    I'm not dealing with your variables here. Public transport to Richmond Park is available, end of.

    If the roads were safer, ie. if everyone wasn't driving everywhere and we had strict liability laws for drivers or there were segregated paths to parks like this, then we wouldn't even need to be talking about RP car traffic.

  • The animals are more crazy than the drivers!

    Indeed - In the Autumn when they are getting their rut on, it can be pretty spooky too.

    I'm like some kind of Richmond ninja now though - I smell them before I see them.

  • I'm not dealing with your variables here. Public transport to Richmond Park is available, end of.

    "End of" what? Just because you don't want to deal with those variables it doesn't mean they don't exist. If the public transport doesn't cater for a huge chunk of park users then its not much use in this debate is it? It's no use saying that people should be using public transport to get to the park if the public transport doesn't actually allow them (not you) to get there and use the park in the way they want to use it. What people "should" do is much less important in determining people's behaviour than what it is easy for people to do.

    Incidentally I completely agree with your suggestion for making the roads "access only" for cars to access a car park. Drivers should have to drive round the outside of the park to get to the gate nearest their chosen car park.

  • You were responding to my comment about public transport being available, no?
    Is public transport available? Yes. That is literally it. Me being too fat to sit on a bus seat does not make the public transport to the park suddenly not exist.

  • huge chunk of park users

    As I said above, it'd be interesting to see some data on who uses the park and how they get there. Anecdotes are not data. If you wanted to take anecdotes as gospel then I know five people who use the park and all of them cycle there - so lets make it bikes only. Woot.

    use the park in the way they want to use it

    Cars driving around the park stop me using the park in the way I want to use it.

  • That is literally it

    But it's not though is it? This is like listening to a Radio 4 interview where the interviewer insists that someone gives a yes/no answer regarding an issue that is obviously much more complex than that.

    You were responding to @Scrabble, who was, in turn, responding to your comment that "if you can afford to drive a car in this country, you can afford a Tube/Bus ticket." We've both given examples of how the public transport system is simply not a viable option for us to use the park as often as we'd like or in the way that we'd like. @Scrabble's response is to use a car, mine is not to go as often as I'd like. It doesn't matter that we could afford the ticket, because the viability of the journey is just as important as the cost. If the two of us (who are obviously fairly into our cycling) are telling you that public transport is a pain, it's pretty certain that people who aren't into it will be much quicker to choose to take their cars.

    Cars driving around the park stop me using the park in the way I want to use it.

    I don't think we disagree about the solution (access only for drivers to car parks, cut off rat runs, better public transport links, better cycle routes), but I think you're in denial about the fact that Richmond Park feels surprisingly inaccessible. If we want the maximum benefit from the park then we need to work out a way of improving general access at the same time as reducing car access.

  • The second options, is to place filters on each side of the park so the roads are effectively cul-de-sacs (preserving access to ballet school, car parks etc).

    I realised after I posted (and after I filled in the consultation, annoyingly) that this is clearly the best option. Just put gates across the road in the middle. Then everyone would still be able to get to everything in a car but there would be no through traffic. It would also be much cheaper and more effective than numberplate recognition etc.

  • If you're poor, why are you driving to a park? You'll use more $ in fuel than the bus costs.

    IIRC poorer people actually drive more in London than rich ones, but I don't have a source for that.

    What I meant about the £10 charge is it's like a tax, and regressive taxes are the same no matter how much money you have. Progressive taxes are based on your means to pay, e.g. income tax. Personally I think that regressive taxes are unfair as proportionally the poor pay more.

  • "But you can't really get to the park using the tube/bus."

    "I mean, you literally can, so I don't see how you can say that."

    None of of our chat to that point had involved children or difficulty of getting to the park with a fleet of kids or carrying a surfboard or whatever. It was an argument about poor people being disadvantaged by charging for car->park entry.

  • If we want the maximum benefit from the park then we need to work out a way of improving general access at the same time as reducing car access.

    Such as? "oh but I've got kids" shouldn't be some kind of free pass to drive everywhere. Isn't that why the roads go to shit when school is in? London is almost pleasant to cycle in when it's half term.

  • There should be no through traffic for cars. There should be through traffic still for bikes.

  • Charges based on vehicle tax with multipliers for in-car TVs, leather seats and flat out bans for anyone in an Beemer, Audi, Range Rover, or Jag. Sorted :)

  • https://medium.com/100-hours/is-congesti­on-pricing-fair-to-the-poor-62e281924ca3­

    "People who worry about harms to the poor when roads are priced, and not when roads are free, may be worried more about the prices than the poor."

  • Roads that only go to carparks in the park and a bank of free electric scooters in each carpark so everyone can get around where they want.
    AmIdoingitright?

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The Royal Parks Movement Strategy (closes today - 14 July)

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