Regent’s Park: Campaigners complain of ‘traffic chaos’ at art fair and warn ‘something catastrophic might happen’
PUBLISHED: 09:30 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:32 10 October 2019
Traffic problems around an art fair in Regent’s Park caused “carnage” this weekend for cyclists and pedestrians, according to local campaign groups.
The fair, held by Frieze, took over the park between Thursday and Sunday - but park users warned others to stay away after a number of "crashes and doorings".
The Frieze London fair advertises itself as "featuring more than 160 of the world's leading galleries".
But public health and wellbeing campaigner Adrian Jackson - who also heads the Parks for the People campaign - told the Wood&Vale it had been mayhem.
He said: "The reality of the situation is that Frieze is a massive, massive event - both in terms of size and in terms of people going to see it. It's a great use of the park but traffic needs to be managed better. If you want to do this to make money that's fine, but you need to take responsibility."
Adrian said the park had been "total chaos" and there had been "lorries turning without checking mirrors, an increase in people going the wrong way" and even "cars with Frieze branding dropping people off in the wrong places".
He added: "There's been one or two accidents, but something catastrophic might happen. I understand the park needs to make money, but you can't have this sort of carnage going on."
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The Regent's Park Cyclists group warned riders to stay away, tweeting: "Warning - extreme danger. The traffic carnage continues in @theroyalparks #regentspark today. It is not safe to be in the park. Avoid. Overnight crashes and heavy vehicles from 6.45am."
One cyclist, a member of the Black Cyclists Network (BCN), needed a number of stitches in hospital after being knocked off his bike.
A spokesperson for the Royal Parks - who run the park - said: "We understand a road traffic accident occurred on the Outer Circle last Wednesday evening and we are looking into what happened.
"We are aware there is a short-term increase in traffic congestion during this event.
"Traffic management plans are reviewed after event, and the outcomes of these discussions will be fed into future planning."
A spokesperson for Frieze said: "We takes the safety of our visitors and the general public very seriously. We have a robust traffic management plan in place and a large team of traffic marshals for each of our events. Any serious incidents or complaints will be looked into and appropriate action taken."
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