Robin Hood Gate closure plea to Royal Parks as nine in ten vote against

Councillors have called on the Royal Parks Agency to drop plans for restricting vehicle access to Richmond Park after local residents voted overwhelmingly against gate and car park closures.

Fears of extra traffic in Roehampton resulted in a vote of more than 90 per cent against the RPA's proposal to close Robin Hood Gate. There was even less support for the closure of Pen Ponds car park. This won the backing of just 7.5 per cent of those responding.

Last weeks meeting of the regeneration and transport overview and scrutiny committee (7.11.02) was told that a total of 3,725 households in Putney and Roehampton had returned detailed questionnaires to the council.

A separate internet survey which attracted 240 responses from a wider area showed opposition to the gate closure running at 69 per cent with 77.5 per cent against the Pen Ponds car park plan. Eighty two percent of respondents in the internet poll said they wanted to see traffic speeds in the park cut to 20 mph.

Cabinet member for regeneration and transport Kathy Tracey said:

"The Royal Parks Agency will have to sit up and take notice of this overwhelming expression of public feeling. This is a Government body. It is hard to imagine Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who is the minister responsible for the park, ignoring such a large body of opinion. The environmental damage that would be caused in Roehampton by the closure of Robin Hood Gate is out of all proportion to any benefits that may be felt on the park's roads.

"Ministers and parks bosses should listen to the advice of local people and reduce traffic speeds in the park. This would be far more effective than pressing ahead with draconian measures like closures."

Councillors agreed to write to the RPA and the Culture Secretary informing them of the results of the council's survey and urging them to abandon the plans for shutting off access via Robin Hood Gate and removing the Pen Ponds car park.

11th November 2002

Associated articles:

Is closing Richmond Park to rush-hour traffic restoring a priceless local amenity to its original purpose or are the Royal Parks Agency acting without due consideration to the majority of local people.

The case against closure

The Royal Parks Agency's Reply

Comment on this issue from the forum

Wandsworth Council concerned for residents if Robin Hood Gate is closed 21.02.02

Wandsworth seek legal advice to stop closure of Robin Hood Gate 26.02.02

Cllr Lister condems plans to close Pen Ponds 13.03.02

High Court forces RPA to U turn on Robin Hood Gate closure 17.04.02

Extra Time for the Richmond Park consultation. 02.08.02

Survey shows 90% of residents against gate closure. 10.09.02

Richmond Park traffic plans - public meeting October 1 - 25.09.02