launches judicial review of Richmond Park gate closure
Wandsworth Council has launched an application for judicial review
the Royal Parks decision to close Richmond Park's Robin Hood Gate.
council's legal team moved quickly after parks officials called
a key meeting with the three affected boroughs and Transport for
London which was due to be held on March 22.
council could obtain no assurances on the consequences of the
delay from civil servants at the Department for Culture, Media
meeting, which was only fixed last week, would have been the
council's first opportunity to present its case against closure.
council had warned the Royal Parks that it intended to issue legal
proceedings if its concerns could not be met.
member for regeneration and transport Kathy Tracey said the
council had acted swiftly to protect its position:
thought we had made progress in getting the Royal Parks to come
to the table and discuss the implications of their decision for
Roehampton and the adjoining boroughs of Kingston and Richmond.
agreeing to the meeting the Royal Parks had undertaken not to
ahead with the closure planned for April 2. Now
we are told that the meeting cannot go ahead. In the absence of
any assurances from the Government we had no choice but to issue
still hope to meet with the agency at the end of April to convince
them that the closure is unnecessary. If they show any sign of
ahead we will seek an immediate injunction to stop them doing
council believes the Royal Parks have not thought their plans
through. They have failed to explore other ways of achieving an
equivalent reduction in traffic in the park which would not have
calamitous effect on people in Roehampton."
council's concerns about danger to residents from increased traffic
on Alton Road have been backed by the manager of Thomas Pocklington
Court - a home for blind persons. Centre
manager Robert Long said in a letter to the Royal Parks on behalf
of 65 blind and partially sighted residents: "With ourselves
and Heathmere Primary School opposite, Alton Road has a high level
vulnerable people using and crossing it. Until the issues around
using Alton Road as a bypass are addressed I would ask you to
reconsider your actions."
people fear that shutting off access to the gate will force
town-bound commuters to rat-run through Alton Road as a means
avoiding the queues at the junction of Roehampton Lane with Roehampton
Vale. This could lead to an extra 700 vehicles an hour at peak
RPA puts gate closure on hold until meeting
concerns for residents should Robin Hood Gate be closed.
to RPA status fuels concerns over future
access to Richmond Park.
of the Proposals made by the Friends of
arguements against closure of the gates
RPA response to the issue
Duffy argues against the plans for restricting
traffic in Richmond Park