A £500,000 project designed to make some of the Royal Parks’ busiest routes shared spaces for pedestrians and cyclists has got underway.
The scheme will see changes to park entrances and cycle ways in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, which jointly welcome more than 23million pedestrians and cyclists each year.
The project comes as work is underway on the construction of the Mayor’s Cycle Superhighway in Hyde Park, which is expected to take commuter cyclists off park routes and onto dedicated road-based cycle ways.
The Royal Parks’ project, which is funded by Transport for London, is part of the wider Central London Grid scheme which sees the creation of superhighways across the capital for commuter cyclists and quietways for more pleasant, slower cycling.
Work has now got underway on three key projects in The Royal Parks:
- In Kensington Gardens changes will be made to the Black Lion and Palace Gates entrances at either end of the Broad Walk to improve accessibility and safety for cyclists and pedestrians. The existing layout and boundary wall will be changed and two new gates will be installed.
- Kensington will also see improvements made to the Mount Walk junction where changes to the pathway will be made to reinforce the concept of shared space as well as speed calming measures (changes to the surfaces) to slow down cyclists.
- In Hyde Park, the layout and markings of Upper Brook Street Gate will be simplified, and the existing gate will be replaced to increase the amount of space for cyclists and pedestrians. A new surface and removal of white line segregation will also reinforce the shared space and slow down cyclists.
Work on these projects is expected to be completed by Spring 2016.
The idea behind these projects follows independent research which studied the interaction between various park users, including where conflict occurred between pedestrians and cyclists.
Ruth Holmes, who is leading this project for The Royal Parks, said: “Cycle routes in the Royal Parks are unique spaces. They not only attract visitors on foot, bike or horse for peace and relaxation, but also daily commuter cyclists who pass through the parks on their way to work.
“We have to balance the needs of all our park users which is why we have worked closely with TfL to ensure the cycle superhighway provides a route through the parks for commuter cyclists, freeing up shared space in the parks for other cyclists and pedestrians.”