Duke’s Head Passage – “We’ve made the right decision”

Richmond Cycling Campaign attended the Royal Parks’ Walking and Cycling Consultative Group on Wednesday, and got the bad news on Bushy Park’s Duke’s Head Passage.

We’r waiting for the official record of the meeting, but the rough summary on cycling in the Duke’s Head Passage is:

  • It’s too narrow for cycling
  • The right decision was taken to ban cycling – people only have to walk 450m with their bike
  • There are other routes into the park
  • ‘This is an area of conflict, not an accident area’

The next steps seem to be being driven by the borough cycling officer, who is trying to get a proper study done to assess what would make the path Ok for cycling. We were told that the path would need to be to London Cycling Design Standards (LCDS) for the parks to approve it. Given the constricted nature of the path, though, this seems like a planned excuse for doing nothing.

The point was made by the Royal Parks that it’s actually possible to cycle virtually everywhere in Bushy Park, and we thoroughly encourage people to respect this privilege and to cycle carefully and considerately. However, the enormous utility and safety benefits of using DHP don’t seem to weigh heavily for Parks management, sadly.

3 thoughts on “Duke’s Head Passage – “We’ve made the right decision”

  1. Typical of this self important Parks Management, heavy handed and little better than a public nuisance.
    The ban is almost universally ignored demonstrating that there is no popular support whatever for it, further by having a ban and not enforcing they have created a more dangerous situation whereby a casual user might not expect to encounter a bike whereas in fact they are quite likely to do so.

  2. I have often used this path – on foot and on a bike and have never experienced any problems. Cyclists and pedestrians have co-existed peacefully here for many years. The roads to be used as alternatives are fast, crowded and dangerous for cyclists. On a journey to work no one wants to walk for 10 minutes when they have cycled the distance in the past.

  3. Looking at this type of activity, as well as the Royal Parks’ proposals for ‘upgrading’ the quietway across the central park of Richmond Park, it is now fair to describe Royal Parks as ‘institutionally anti-cyclist’.

    Having the London Cycling Design Standards quoted as an excuse for banning cycling is just adding insult to injury. Trying to get London boroughs to produce on-road infrastructure that adequately protects people and bicycles, by meeting the Standards, is a huge challenge, so to see them being used by the Royal Parks to attack cycling is outrageous.

    I hope people continue to ignore these stupid signs, and that the police make better use of their time to concentrate on dangerous and aggressive driving, i.e. trying to deal with those who are genuinely causing danger and distress to vulnerable road users.

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