Cycle speed humps in Hyde Park - our concerns

The Royal Parks have announced plans to combat those cycling above their speed limit of 10mph in Hyde Park on the Broadwalk. But the proposals are not proportionate to the risks, will possibly hit the users most in need of cycling through the park hardest and fail to address the real dangers in the Royal Parks.

The Royal Parks propose: "A granite strip will be installed across the width of all pathways at the junction. On the cycle route the granite setts will be slightly raised in profile in the middle of the strip to create a soft ramp effect" and "a golden gravel surface layer will be added to the centre of the junctions to highlight the space through change in colour and texture".

Our concerns are:

  1. Previously, The Royal Parks have installed cycle speed bumps with cobbles in elsewhere in the parks and these have been a disaster. They are steep, uneven and hazardous to ride over. They are widely avoided by road bike riders with skinny tyres - with visible worn grass patches on either side of wherever they are installed. Worse, however, for those unable to avoid them - on adapted cycles, in wheelchairs etc - they represent a real barrier. The Royal Parks say these ones are a softer, gentler design - but we haven't seen their new design. And the previous designs don't give us confidence that the Parks fully understand the issues. Sinusoidal road humps in the same material as the general path would be far better.
  2. These speed bumps are also set to appear on either side of 14 junctions. Even with sinusoidal and very gentle speed humps that would mean someone in an adapted cycle travelling the length of the route going over likely 28 of these.
  3. In between the cobbles, at the path junctions, The Royal Parks propose a gravel surface in a shared space. It's unclear what kind of gravel treatment is proposed - but if it's loose gravel, then this poses skid risks etc. On top of that, given that over 1,200 people along this route per hour in the peak, clearer delineation cycling and walking space would probably work better.

  4. Perhaps most importantly, The Royal Parks have failed as yet to take action on serious and evidenced dangers from motor vehicles in several of their parks. The Regent's Park has more collisions than the surrounding areas, vehicles doing high speeds and there is a scheme on the table to close key gates to get rid of through traffic - if The Royal Parks is intent on reducing danger in its park, removing through motor vehicle traffic from them should be a far higher priority than this excessive response to the issue of cycling speeds.

Given over 1,200 people cycle an hour along Broadwalk during the rush hour, monitoring by The Royal Parks has found only two "near misses" a week with pedestrians and no collisions. We are absolutely in favour of sensible and proportionate responses to risk - and in favour of designing out poor behaviour of all users of the park.