Each month, we email a bulletin to everyone who has signed up on this site. Below is the mailout that we sent in June. 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.
The prospect of Richmond Park becoming an even better place to ride your bike could become a reality - and much sooner than we had anticipated - as the goal of improving visitors’ experiences across all royal parks gets moving. The Royal Parks has invited Richmond Park Cyclists to attend its presentation on June 14 where we expect Intelligent Road Charging to feature. Longtime subscribers will know that for the past couple of years we have been exploring the idea of reducing traffic in the park by introducing a fee for shortcut journeys made by motor vehicles, so we are pleased that we have been given a seat at the table. Please let us know what else you would like us to bring up at the meeting. One idea we are considering to submit is guidance notes for all road users to ensure everyone treats each other with courtesy and respect.
The meeting forms part of The Royal Parks’ movement strategy which will, in its words, “set a long-term vision for how visitors will move within, access and experience the parks”. It will include reducing the impact of motor traffic and increasing safety. Mat Bonomi, the Royal Parks’ access and transport manager, has asked us to publicise the consultation as part of TRP’s effort to gather input from the public. Please sign up on its website - you will receive regular updates from TRP on the strategy’s progress and we will, of course, provide info on our own monthly bulletins.
The first part of the consultation starts today and ends on July 14. Phase two will take place in September and October. By December, whatever evidence-based proposals have emerged from the process should be finalised and adopted by TRP’s board. This timescale is much quicker than we thought it would be. We hope you are as excited by this welcome development as we are!
The recent spate of bicycles stolen from the area outside Colicci cafe may have evaporated - but the cops’ investigation hasn’t. Richmond Park’s police unit say they now have a suspect and are confident that the process of tracing the person could begin soon - which may hopefully lead to an arrest. Every one of you reading this will hope the thief, whoever they are, is caught - but in the meantime please continue to take care when you stop for a coffee. Get a friend, if you are riding with one, to keep an eye on your pride and joy, or pop a wheel out or invest in a portable lock to make sure your bike is less likely to be nicked. Don’t give a toerag the opportunity to spoil your ride!
DOUBLE THE HASSLE
By now, you may already know that Kingston Gate has reopened following roadworks just outside it. There is now a raised crossing on Queen’s Road close to its junction with King’s Road, and another around the corner on Liverpool Road (which is part of a popular shortcut route that runs parallel to Broomfield Hill). It will be interesting to see what effect they will have on the high levels of motor traffic in the immediate area. At the time of this bulletin reaching your inbox, temporary traffic lights are still in place by the Queen’s Road crossing, and we are unsure if there will be a permanent set installed eventually.
In the meantime, we have been speaking to The Royal Parks about the box-shaped gates on pedestrian entrances which a cyclist has pointed out to us make it impossible for those riding larger bicycles to enter the park at night when the main gates are closed. With most bikes, it’s relatively easy to open the door, manoeuvre into the box and turn 90 degrees to enter the park, particularly when you lift the bicycle onto its back wheel to turn it as you walk through the tight space. With cargo bikes, bicycles with a trailer or anything similar this is not an option.
These gates are meant to prevent deer from wandering out at night, although Bushey Park has entrances that are more open and useable for larger bikes - and it also has deer. There may be another very good reason why Richmond Park needs its right-angled entrances. Either way, we’ll let you know when we find out.
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR...
...when Richmond Park graciously welcomes dozens of riders in funny pointy hats. That’s right - the park’s two annual official time trials are happening on Sunday 16 and Sunday 30 June. The park’s main road will remain open during the ten-mile competition, but please remember that there will be many more cyclists there than you would usually expect to see between 6am and 7:30am. And if you are dedicated enough to be riding at that time of the morning at the weekend, why not enter the 10.4-mile ride yourself? The first event has sold out, but the organisers London Dynamo opened entries for the second time trial yesterday. You don’t even need pointy hat or a TT bike - the standard road category is the most popular, and it is an ideal event for first-timers. Best of luck if you do take part - and get your entry in soon as it will sell out very quickly!
TAKE CARE WITH OUR DEER FRIENDS
Finally, we’d like to send our sympathy to Olympic triathlete Stuart Hayes who was knocked off his bike by a running deer while he was descending Broomfield Hill last week. He suffered multiple fractures and was taken to Kingston Hospital.
Everyone who rides a bike in Richmond Park will have stories about having to abruptly slow down, stop or otherwise avoid one of our antlered chums - tales which, by their very nature, will always go unreported. It’s a testament to the care that people like you typically take in these situations - and the fact it’s possible to ride for months in the park without seeing a single deer cross the tarmac - that collisions of this kind are relatively rare. Nevertheless, please remember to ride with due care and attention. They are camouflaged animals, easily spooked, and can run out at any time!
SEE YOU NEXT MONTH
That’s all for this bulletin. As ever, please share this newsletter with your cycling friends - and if they like what they read, encourage them to sign up to our mailing list too. The more subscribers we have, the bigger our voice.
All the best,
Richmond Park Cyclists