FAO: Andrew Scattergood
Under new government guidance, those who cannot work from home are now expected to go to work, but to avoid public transport. Many people in the areas we represent and across South West London and Surrey rely on Richmond Park as an artery for cycling into Central London. The Government has rightly focused on alternatives to public transport; however this has had the effect of forcing people in our area either use their cars or cycle on the road network putting them at greater danger of conflict with cars and other motor vehicles.
One of the very few positives of the current situation has been the reduction in air pollution across our capital city. We are deeply concerned that the effect of people going back to work by car will reverse some of this vital progress.
The Royal Parks have an essential role to play in keeping our air clean by providing an alternative to crowded public transport for residents in Kingston and Richmond. Whilst we understand the concerns around groups of cyclists in the park not adhering to social distancing, we feel the potential impact on our public transport network and air quality necessitate a change in approach at this point in the lockdown.
We urge you to reopen Richmond Park to commuter cyclists, so that we may continue to benefit from cleaner air and protect workers from unnecessary risk on our public transport network.
Edward Davey MP
Sarah Olney MP
Cllr Caroline Kerr
Leader of Kingston-Upon-Thames Borough Council
Cllr Gareth Roberts
Leader of Richmond-Upon-Thames Borough Council