While the consultation responses results varied across the parks, overall, they indicated support and a desire to see less cut-through traffic in the parks.
The consultations, which took place over eight weeks between November and December 2020, invited views from across a broad range of groups who use the parks, as well as feedback from local residents, businesses and interest groups. The Royal Parks received a total of 17,850 online survey responses, carried out 447 face-to-face park visitor surveys and received 397 email submissions.
The Royal Parks will keep the measures to reduce cut-through traffic in place until March 2022 and will collect additional data to ensure a clear picture of the impact of the schemes, before determining whether they should be made permanent.
The measures include closing sections of roads to cut-through traffic to create new park spaces for visitors to enjoy. This includes making The Mall in St James’s Park car-free on weekends during daylight hours, and creating a car-free space on Chestnut Avenue in the centre of Bushy Park.
Andrew Scattergood, The Royal Parks’ Chief Executive, said: “London’s green spaces are vital refuges where people can come to escape from the busy city, and never has this been more apparent than over the past 12 months.
“These trials have proved that there is support from park visitors to limit cut-through traffic and create car-free spaces, where people can enjoy spending time in the natural environment to boost their health and happiness.
“We’ve had an enormous response to the consultation, and we want to thank everyone for their participation and for sharing their views.
“We’ll continue to work with our neighbours to monitor these projects and their impact and continue to listen to the views of park visitors.”
Over the next 12 months, The Royal Parks will continue to make proactive changes to keep the parks safe and further enhance the park visitor experience, for example by providing improved signage.
These trials follow the launch of The Royal Parks’ Movement Strategy in July 2020, which set a coherent framework to help shape how park visitors can access, experience and move within the parks. This incorporated an earlier wide-ranging consultation across thousands of members of the public, transport partners and local boroughs.