ISSUE: Richmond Park
SAY NO! TO THE RICHMOND PARK GATE CLOSURES
Chris & Catherine Wright argue against the plans for restricting traffic in Richmond Park
We are being threatened by proposed traffic closures in Richmond Park. Our quality of life, freedom of movement and our health is at stake. Your help is urgently required to fight the Royal Parks Agency (RPA) proposals.
The RPA's options for the future of Richmond Park include the closure of Roehampton, Sheen and Ham Gates during peak hours. They claim "the level of traffic using the Park at present results in safety and environmental issues within the Park"
In fact the RPA can provide no scientific evidence that traffic using the Park causes safety or environmental issues "other than on verges".
The RPA has done no investigative work into health and safety implications of displacing the traffic onto the already heavily congested roads around the Park. Closing the Park to traffic will directly affect the health and safety of local residents and in particular the thousands of school children who attend schools bordering the Park. Surely these issues must be paramount importance to us all.
The RPA argues that they need to reduce Park traffic because traffic in London is set to rise by 4% each year. However, this ignores the fact that between 1993 and 1998, traffic in the Park at peak hours hardly changed. There is no concrete evidence to suggest that Park traffic will necessarily increase to the extent they predict.
The RPA has admitted publicly that the Gate closures would "reduce the effectiveness of public transport". This would severely affect a large percent of the local population. Moreover, when public transport is less effective, people use cars instead. The Gate closures could easily result in increased car usage, which runs contrary to the Governments White Paper on the subject.
We ALL want to protect the Park but we also have cares and responsibilities towards the communities and areas surrounding the Park. By proposing these Gate closures the RPA has shown that it has no respect or sense of duty towards local communities.
Before the RPA imposes havoc on our local community we need a full and thorough Environmental Impact Assessment to be carried out.