ISSUE: Richmond Park   - Gate Closure threats  


Robin Hood gate closure put on hold due to legal threat

Plans by the Royal Parks to close Richmond Park's Robin Hood Gate on April 2 have been put on hold after the council said it was ready to seek a judicial review of the decision.

Top officials from the Government agency have now agreed to a meeting on March 22 to hear the council's case.

It means the closure will be put off until the end of April at the earliest. The council will issue legal proceedings immediately following the meeting if its concerns cannot be resolved. This could mean the closure being delayed for several months.

Wandsworth fears that shutting off access to the gate will force park users who live in the borough to divert through the Alton estate and Clarence Lane in order to enter at Roehampton Gate.

Town-bound commuters who currently come off the A3 at Robin Hood gate will also be tempted to rat-run through another part of the estate to avoid queues at the junction of Roehampton Lane with Roehampton Vale. The council believe that stopping drivers coming in from the A3 will only cut traffic in the park by five per cent. They are suggesting that the agency must look at other ways of achieving this reduction before imposing such a drastic solution including monitoring of the new 20mph speed limits and proper enforcement.

Residents in Alton Road could see traffic doubling in this residential area which includes a primary school and a blind persons' home.

Cabinet member for regeneration and transport Kathy Tracey said the council believed the agency was rushing to close the gate when it had not considered the alternatives:

"The closure will affect people who come to the park for pleasure and those who live nearby who will have to suffer monstrous increases in traffic thundering past their front doors. "

She added that she was pleased that the Royal Parks had backed down on the closure date and said that "we will not hesitate to press ahead with a High Court action if the meeting planned for March 22 does not remove our concerns."

Comments from the Forum

Council concerns for residents should Robin Hood Gate be closed.

Change to RPA status fuels concerns over future access to Richmond Park.

Details of the Proposals made by the Friends of Richmond Park

More arguements against closure of the gates

The RPA response to the issue

Peter Duffy argues against the plans for restricting traffic in Richmond Park


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