Each month, we are emailing a bulletin to everyone who has signed up on this site. Below is last month's mailout. If you like it, please sign up on our Get Involved section - you will be showing your support for our work and you will receive our free monthly bulletins a month before they appear here. Have a look at our first bulletin to find out more about how RPC was formed and why we are progressing the idea of reducing traffic in the park by charging for shortcut journeys.
APPENED SO FAST
Like flowers blooming in spring, dockless hire bikes have been appearing all over London - so it was inevitable that they would come to Richmond Park. You probably already know that simply by using an app on your phone you can unlock one of these bicycles and de-hire it, ready for the next user, once you have pedalled to your destination. But like every innovation, change can produce some unexpected challenges - as The Royal Parks has revealed to us.
Dehiring in remote locations within the park has left numerous semi-abandoned bikes, sometimes in unsafe positions. The bike hire firms need to pick up and relocate their bicycles to more popular areas such as train stations - but they do not yet have an agreement to collect from Richmond Park. If they did come in and round up the bikes, the police would fine them for breaching the park’s general ban on commercial vehicles. So at this moment of impasse, TRP is collecting the hire bikes and keeping them locked up near Holly Lodge.
TRP has offered the bike hire companies an opportunity to discuss a solution which, of course, we hope they take up.
In the meantime, we would like to know what YOU think about dockless hire bikes in the park. Do you welcome them? Do you think the number of bikes waiting to be hired in the park spoils the natural landscape? Should the bike hire companies penalise dehiring in the park with very high rates?
Hit that reply button and let us know what you think. We’ll make sure your views are heard by the people who run the park.
VERGE ON THE RIDICULOUS
Like us, you may have found it difficult to get in a few laps of the park during the first May Bank Holiday due to the huge number of motor vehicles. The car parks became full very quickly, causing long queues to get in - and some drivers, perhaps at their wits’ end or simply thinking they could take a risk, chose to leave their cars on grass verges where there were no wooden stumps to stop them.
The last Bank Holiday was a different story. At a prior meeting we had with the police, their representatives agreed to ticket illegally parked cars sooner in the day to deter others who may have been thinking of doing the same thing later on. Officers also placed Met Police cones in dense lines to ward off parking and erected temporary signs at the entrances to car parks warning that it is illegal to leave a car anywhere else in the park.
As a result, there was significantly less fly parking, making the roads safer and less heavily trafficked. So, hopefully, you managed to cycle a lap or two (or more).
TRP is looking into installing more posts to make parking more difficult (although it will not place them on descents as they are hazardous to cyclists if they lose control) and funding is being sought for more temporary signage warning about illegal parking. We’ll keep you (sign)posted!
The way ahead for Intelligent Road Charging levied at motor vehicles using the park for shortcut journeys is coming into sharper relief. The ability to raise money for much-needed money for maintenance on roads, car parks and maintenance infrastructure has not been lost on The Royal Parks, so we hope to arrange a meeting once it hires new specialist staff after the summer. Roll on autumn!
Finally, news on imminent road closures. Routes leading to Robin Hood Roundabout will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday 12) and Wednesday 13 June for both days and overnight. This is for resurfacing works and cutting back a tree.
You should be able to ride up to the tree and the roadworks but you will need to dismount to get around the barriers. Alternatively, choose a different route - and be aware that works may overrun.
SEE YOU NEXT MONTH
That’s all for this bulletin. As ever, share this newsletter with your cycling friends - and if they like what they read, encourage them to sign up to our mailing list.
All the best, and enjoy the terrific cycling weather.
Richmond Park Cyclists