Cyclists will be banned from riding in Richmond Park this weekend, authorities have confirmed.
The popular green space in west London was kept open for cyclists, provided they observed social distancing to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
But The Royal Parks, the charity responsible for Richmond Park, has now confirmed cyclists will be banned from the park from Saturday and police will be stationed on the park gates.
NHS workers will still be allowed to cycle through the park however, but they must show their staff pass.
A spokesperson for the Royal Parks said: “It is necessary to suspend all cycling in Richmond Park to protect public safety and ultimately help keep this vital green space open for everyone.
“Cycling is still permitted in the other Royal Parks, where there is no current evidence of congestion. NHS workers can continue to cycle through the park if they show their staff pass.
“We’re continuously monitoring the situation and intervening where appropriate, with the support of the police, to reduce congestion in all areas across all our parks. Many Parks are closing across the UK because people aren’t following the government’s guidelines and people are gathering in groups of more than two. We really want to keep our eight parks open across London as they are such important green spaces for those that can reach them safely for daily exercise and to walk in nature.”
The spokesperson added that it was a difficult decision but the reduced park staff are unable to mange the volume of cyclists.
Royals Parks reminded the public that they must remain two metres (six feet) apart from each other and there must be no gatherings of more than two people outside of your immediate household – that includes no groups rides, walks, or jogging, picnics and no sitting on a bench next to someone outside your household.
Riders were told not to congregate in large groups and stay two metres away from other riders at all times in order to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Cars have already been banned from the parks, following police advice after a huge surge in traffic over the weekend.
Despite the pleas for cyclists to follow the rules from people like Chris Boardman, Royal Parks says cyclists are still not adhering to the guidelines and so cyclists will be banned from the parks from Saturday (March 28).
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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