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'Massive' public support for ending through traffic in Regent's Park

PUBLISHED: 15:33 20 November 2019

Traffic and cyclists coming out of Regent's Park outer circle. Picture: Adam Butler

Traffic and cyclists coming out of Regent's Park outer circle. Picture: Adam Butler

Archant

Most park users would support and end to through traffic in the Royal Parks - including Regent's Park - according to the results of a consultation.

The Royal Parks is working on a "movement strategy" which will, it says, underpin "a long-term vision for how park visitors will move within, access and subsequently experience the parks".

After results of a public engagement exercise were published, showing 78 per cent of the 6,956 people who responded to the survey agreed that "park roads should not be used as commuter routes for motor vehicles".

The survey results - which also show majority support for "prioritising walking" and "encouraging walking, cycling and the use of public transport" to get to the parks - will now inform the Royal Parks' decisions going forward.

Adrian Jackson, a public health and wellbeing campaigner who heads up the Parks for the People group, has welcomed the report and backed the Royal Parks to act on it.

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He said: "This sends a really clear message. They've said they'll reflect on the views of the public, and when you've got this level of public support, that sends a really strong message.

"People want to ban through traffic. Whether in three months, or six months, or twelve. The direction of travel is to minimise car use in the parks."

The Royal Parks have said its next step will be to produce a draft transport and movement strategy in early 2020.

In the report, the Royal Parks highlighted that in answer to the question about prioritising walking, among upwards of 1,200 comments, it was clear that "the parks are valued places that offer refuge and respite from the emissions and noise of busy traffic roads and should be enhanced wherever possible".

In October, an Imperial College study showed the levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air at Regent's Park were well above both the European Union's safe limit and the highest level prescribed by the World Health Organisation.

Campaigners in the park have long complained about the impact of "rat-running" commuter traffic.

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