Regent’s Park cyclists and pedestrians campaign over dangerous traffic at Outer Circle corner
PUBLISHED: 08:00 05 July 2019
Cyclists and pedestrians are growing frustrated with “dangerous” traffic in Regent’s Park – and one cycling campaigner has even taken to videoing those cutting a controversial corner.
Park users are concerned about the impact of through traffic at the park, with pollution and the safety of cyclists and pedestrians top of the agenda.
The man, who has only given his name as CyclingMikey, said: "My concern is with road safety generally, not just cyclists' rights.
"Obviously given physics, it's usually pedestrians and cyclists who end up needing protection from drivers."
In his videos, Mikey can be seen stopping a number of drivers turning on the wrong side of a traffic island at the junction of Park Square East and the Outer Circle.
"I was there for about 40 minutes and caught my first driver on the wrong side there, as I rode up to it.
"I caught five more during the remaining 40 minutes."
Cyclist Justin McKie, who chairs the voluntary Parks Police Safer Neighbourhood Panel (SNP), told this newspaper: "It's a real issue. This is a really dangerous situation.
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"It's somewhat funny that the junction is right outside the Insitute for Public Health, the Royal College of Physicians and the head office of the Crown Estates Paving Commission [the CEPC, which manages some roads around Regent's Park].
"This wouldn't be happening if the CEPC had not vetoed CS11."
The now-scrapped cycle superhighway would have seen access gates closed on park roads during peak times.
According to statistics gathered by the SNP, in the first quarter of this year of about 800 offences picked up by the police, 671 were for vehicle-related offences with more than 40 for "directional" driving issues such as those at the Park Square East junction.
Another campaigner, Adrian Jackson from the incipient Parks for the People organisation, told the Wood&Vale: "The main thing about parks is they should be nice spaces for people to use. The amount of traffic in the park is horrendous.
"You often see cars going the wrong side of traffic islands. If I'm crossing, I could quite easily walk straight out in front of them because I'd not look that way.
"I think roads through the park should be for park access - they shouldn't be through roads."
The Royal Parks said the particular junction was a matter for the police. It is currently running a consultation on a new "movement strategy" which will look at "increasing safety for all park visitors", "reducing the impact of vehicle-based traffic" and "minimising the conflicts between different transport user groups".
The Met Police's cycle safety team told this newspaper it would be monitoring this junction closely over the next few weeks, while CEPC did not respond to requests for comment.
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