Cyclists can not be prosecuted for speeding in Richmond Park, police confirm

The statement from Metropolitan Police ends long-running dispute as to whether cyclists should be punished for riding over 20mph

Cyclists in Richmond Park, west London
(Image credit: Getty )

Police have stated that the 20mph speed limit in London's Richmond Park does not apply to cyclists after Royal Parks confirmed that the restrictions only applied to motor vehicles.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that cyclists can not be prosecuted for going faster than 20mph around Richmond Park and other areas managed by Royal Parks, thus bringing an end to a long-running dispute between cyclists and police over the issue.

According to Twickenham Nub News (opens in new tab), the Met has prosecuted multiple cyclists for speeding in the parks by using speed guns while hiding behind trees as well as making categorical statements saying cyclists should stick to the speed limit. 

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However, Royal Parks, the organisation that looks after Richmond Park, has said that the speed limit does not apply to cyclists meaning that any legal action by the police against cyclists over this issue may have been unlawful.

This would mean that any convictions may be overturned and, in some cases, compensation will be given if the prosecuted person saw damage to their reputation as well as inconvenience and cost.

A Royal Parks spokesperson said: "There is no speed limit for cycling on Britain’s roads as cyclists are not required to have a speedometer.

"It is the same in the Royal Parks, although we do ask that cyclists observe the motor vehicle speed limit for the park, the road or path in question. This varies from 5mph to 20mph."

The Twickenham Nub News received a statement from the Met that said: "We expect all road users to act responsibly to ensure Richmond Park is a safe place for everybody.

"Officers carry out regular patrols and will take action against those seen to be driving or riding in an irresponsible manner which intentionally or recklessly puts public safety at risk."

It isn't clear how many riders have been prosecuted for speeding offenses in the park, but there are multiple known cases over the years which could potentially be overturned in the coming future. 

Despite this, the Richmond Park Cycling code of conduct (opens in new tab) still states that cyclists should stick to the speed limits with riders being advised to drop their speeds to 10mph when in the 'quietway' area and dropping to 5mph when on the paths.

Unsurprisingly, races and time trials are still banned as pedestrians, drivers of cars, vans etc and the many deer in the park must be taken into account. 

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.