Regent's Park: Pressure Mounts on Outer Circle

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Outer Circle

Camden and Westminster LCC groups are now working on a campaign to reduce through motor traffic on the Outer Circle of Regent's Park.

As the photo above and the bar-chart below both show, cyclists now account for a large proportion of traffic on the Outer Circle - over a third in the morning peak. Yet the road system is predominantly designed for motor traffic.

Counts

The campaigners believe that reducing through motor traffic would not only create better conditions for cycling but also improve the environment for the benefit of other park visitors, residents, workers and students. They recognise, however, that there may still be some legitimate requirements for bringing a motor vehicle into the park. These include:

  • coaches should still be able travel only between Gloucester Gate and the coach park;
  • access from the Outer Circle to the terraces on the east and the south west sides of the park must not be disrupted;
  • access requirements for the Zoo's staff and visitors; for vehicles bringing supplies and emergency access ;
  • requirements the Open Air Theatre, Regent's College, catering outlets and the Royal Parks depot.

The simplest way of restricting through motor traffic would probably be to place barriers at strategic points around the Outer Circle.

Camden and Westminster LCC groups are currently preparing a proposal. Watch this space for further developments.

This post was edited by Westminster Cycling Campaign at 2:46am 2 November 2013.

Replies

Great news.

Does anyone know what percentage of the motor traffic is taxis?

I regularly travel with my kids into the park at the SE corner. I have met the Royal Parks flunky at that junction who then told me they could not install a zebra crossing for reasons of cost (!) even as he observed firsthand the massive tailbacks every morning of cars trying to drive south onto Portland Place and the number of prams, children with bicycles, etc trying to get across a narrow island.

Royal Parks have no interest in changing things, nor in enforcing speed limits along the Eastern drive of the Park, where cars tend to race between Parkway and Euston Road. 

I don't know an exact percentage, but in my experience a significant proportion of traffic on the Outer Circle is taxis.

There is no need for the Outer Circle to be a through route for motor traffic. Reduced volume of traffic and a 20mph speed limit will allow the signalised junctions to be replaced by uncontrolled priority junctions with zebra crossings, which will make it more civilised and convenient for pedestrians.

It would also be helpful if cyclists could be exempt from the one way systems on the east side of the park (e.g. Cumberland Terrace, Chester Gate) and if cycling could be permitted on the path between the Outer Circle and Charlbert Street (except perhaps on the narrow canal bridge).

Ideally they Royal Parks authority should allow considerate cycling in most areas of the park - people who want to cycle fast would use the Outer Circle (which will be safe to cycle on) and those who wish to meander slowly and enjoy the park will be able to do so.

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