Richmond Park fully reopens to cyclists

Welcome news for riders as restrictions at the popular west London park are lifted

(Image credit: EMPICS Entertainment)

Richmond Park is fully open to cyclists once again, five months after restrictions were put in place.

Cycling in the popular west London green space has been limited since March, when park management banned people from riding through the park due to concerns about coronavirus.

Restrictions have been eased over the last month as the UK has come out of coronavirus lockdown, but cyclists were still only allowed to ride during the week.

But on Tuesday (July 28) The Royal Parks, which runs a number of London parks, announced that all restrictions had been lifted and that riders would be welcome back to the park at weekends from August 1.

The Royal Parks said: “We're pleased to announce that all temporary cycling restrictions in Richmond Park have been lifted. Cyclists are welcome back into the park on weekends from  August 1. Enjoy the ride and please be considerate of other park users.”

In March Royal Parks, the charity responsible for Richmond and other London parks announced that cycling would be banned in the green space because riders were not adhering to social distancing guidelines.

A Freedom of Information request later revealed that park staff had witnessed cyclists using their phones on the bike and riding at excessive speeds before the ban.

Shortly after the London Cycling Campaign said the ban was unjustified , Royal Parks started to let riders back in the gates at restricted times – before 10am and after 4pm on weekdays.

In June, the Royal Parks then began letting people cycling in the park on all weekdays during park opening hours but only key-workers and under-12s with their families were allowed to ride during the weekends.

Cyclists also had to use a restricted circuit around the park.

Cars have also been banned from using the park during the coronavirus lockdown, which has been welcome by cycling campaigners and riders.

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There have been calls to restrict motor vehicles in the park permanently.

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the 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 and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has 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 journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.