The Royal Parks plan to install speed bumps around the Outer Circle of London's Regent's Park, despite safety concerns from cyclists

The planned cycle superhighway that would incorporate London’s Regent’s Park would actually make cycling more dangerous, it has been claimed.

CS11 will run between Brent Cross and the West End via the park’s outer circle, with plans to close park gates to cars for most of the day and installing speed bumps around the four-mile road.

But with many of the 3,000 cyclists who use the Outer Circle each week arriving in the early hours of the morning to train, concerns about the safety of the speed bumps in low light have been raised.

Justin McKie, chairman of Regent’s Park Cyclists (RPC), told the Evening Standard: “There’s been a pretty strong consensus on what needs to happen: close the gates to motor traffic either all day or for extended periods, keep the wonderful smooth tarmac rather than falling for the knee-jerk of speed bumps, and re-sequence the traffic lights to encourage sports cyclists to ride at quieter times of the day.”

The proposed speed bumps – up to 14 of them on pedestrian crossings and at road junctions, reportedly do not have a set design as of yet, but will potentially include stone settings for a ‘heritage’ look/

RPC say they are in support of the plans to install the cycing superhighway but they oppose the use of cycling funds on anti-cycling infrastructure, such as the road humps.

>>> Meet the man who will ride 500km around Regent’s Park

In a pre-consultation meeting in August, notable parties such as Westminster Council, the London Cycling Campaign and cycling charity CTC opposed the raised speed humps on the road.

In a subsequent meeting with The Royal Parks (TRP) in late August, RPC confirmed that the feedback from the initial conversations had been ignored and that TRP plan to push ahead with the original plans.

Concerns remain that if traffic is reduced on the road – of up to 80 per cent if the gates are closed – will result in drivers travelling faster. RPC claim that TRP are unwilling to consider a test phase after the gates are closed, average speed cameras at the entrances and exits of the park or other solutions that don’t negatively impact cycling.

“The Royal Parks has a unique opportunity to get some cash from the TfL cycling budget here, but anything that makes cycling more difficult or dangerous, such as speed bumps, would be a misuse of that money,” Mr McKie added.

Transport for London told RPC that the process was a negotioation between itself and TRP to create an effective plan and a Royal Parks spokesman told the Standard they “were working with Transport for London to create the final proposals”.

Earlier this year, TRP blocked plans to build a segregated superhighway along Birdcage Walk because it would “significantly affect day-to-day park operations” such as tree maintenance and cleaning.

  • Hindmost

    As long as people are considerate and tolerant of those less experienced then I don’t see a problem. I regularly take my girlfriend and parents there to ride. They are relatively slow and inexperienced but they’ve always found cycling in the park safe. The only danger we’ve experienced is close-passing cars at the pinch-points.

  • Paul Luton

    Isn’t there a disparity between the interests of learners, families and disabled cyclists and those wanting to use the circuit as a practice race-track ?

  • Blackbeard

    We had loads of speed humps installed by the council despite furious opposition by the residents (over 85% against). We got stonewalled by the council and hundreds of humps went in anyway at a cost of over £2K each

    Cycling over speedhumps is unpleasant. Trying to indicate (with one hand off the bars) and possibly brake whilst keeping an eye on traffic and negotiating speed humps is dangerous. Perhaps these speed hump evangelists should get out of the Council Jaguar and try actually riding a bike before they force these monstrosities upon us.

    Here they have been built right across the whole road, which block off the drains and causes enormous puddles because the water can’t flow past them. Really?

    Now they are all damaged and potholed (and therefore more dangerous to cyclists) and apparently there’s no money left to fix them.

    Fight them all the way.

  • d9veNI

    What a hugely bizarre comment. Speed bumps do not help cyclists at all, and so Cycling infrastructure funds shouldn’t be spent on them. What was you point?? Idiotic Strava comment too.

  • Roger

    They might not be dangerous but they are unpleasant for cyclists – and motorists as well. This is not about winning friends or waging fights, it’s simply a question of expressing a valid point of view. I’ve no idea what strava segments or fred is, but the idea that only “city bikes” matter and that the interests of those on “carbon” are unimportant is ludicrous.

  • Guy Ross

    I’ve ridden over a lot of speed bumps in my day. They are not what is dangerous. It is drivers and communities in general not respecting cyclists. By taking this stand cyclists like yourself are not winning friends in the community. I’m totally for providing as much cycling infrastructure as possible. However, my grandfather always says it is not as important how you fight as which battles you choose to wage.

  • Guy Ross

    Oh, I do. It is a place where many have been able to keep up their 35 kmh pace right in the middle of London as the comment from EB below indicates ‘You can even do it without leaving the TT bars’

    This issue has nothing to do with safety or numbers of cyclist able to use the park’s outer circle. This issue will only affect those on carbon. Everyone else on city bikes can navigate a few sets of speed bumps just fine.

    Invest elsewhere? Community engagement, getting more people on bikes in and around the park, make friends outside of the clique so the next time it comes to issues which matter to a greater number of people regarding the rights of cyclists, they won’t be ignored like this time.

  • Hindmost

    That’s a very narrow way of looking at this. I’m not sure if you’re from London but for me (and many Londoners) Regent’s Park is the only place I can train without riding 10-12km through traffic to get to Hertfordshire or Richmond Park. It’s also the place I taught my girlfriend to cycle and it’s the only place she feels safe riding in London. It’s not just about sports cyclists – commuters, families, disabled cyclists all use the park as well as clubs.
    Speed humps will see cyclist numbers drop drastically.

  • em biz

    I’m not quite sure you get the point, its about having a place to ride your bike in London and Regents Park is about the only place that is marginally safe to do so. Where do you suggest they invest themselves?

  • em biz

    One of the issues not highlighted in the article is the maintenance of potential speed bumps, they want to place cobbled bumps in keeping with the “looks” of the area which are notorious for breaking down after a year or two and becoming horrible to ride over. You only have to ride one lap of Regents Park to appreciate what a great place it is for a bike ride in this hectic city.

  • EB

    The text says the speed bumps would be at crossings and road junctions. I would have thought that they should easily be visible.

    There is also a technique for going over speed bumps that means loosing little speed (essentially raise body up and back wards before hand). You can even do it without leaving the TT bars.

    I can see an argument for training that suggests interupting leg movement to do this would be bad, but that negative needs to be weighed against all the good bits and is not relevant to most cyclists. Not convinced this is a well chosen battle.

    The biggest danger I can see in the photo is car doors and I can imagine fast moving cars overtaking too close if you cycled a decent distance from them.

  • Guy Ross

    I’m a huge supporter of cycling in basically all forms. However, the reaction of the RPC to preserve the ‘wonderful smooth tarmac’ is just exuding ‘fred’ and burns precious matches the RPC would be better served investing elsewhere.

    Something here stinks of changes to Strava segments more than safety.