Posted: 15.12.21 at 13:56 by Ellie Brown
A BAN on through-traffic in Bushy Park has been criticised by the Environment Secretary George Eustice.
The Conservative MP has told a local resident he is "sceptical" of the scheme and claims it has led to "increased congestion and associated problems around surrounding roads."
He told the resident "I would prefer to see the park re-opened" but agreed that the decision is for The Royal Parks, the charity which manages Bushy Park.
Mr Eustice made the comments in an email, seen by news station Radio Jackie.
Speaking to Radio Jackie, a spokesperson for the Royal Parks defended the scheme.
They said: ""Parks such as Bushy Park play a crucial role in boosting the physical and mental wellbeing of city dwellers who are looking to escape the hustle and bustle for a breath of fresh air, and to boost their physical and mental wellbeing by enjoying the wonderful wildlife and landscapes.
"Bushy Park provides a valuable, natural landscape which is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest status and we aim to ensure the park is resilient in the face of increasing pressures from climate change.
"By reducing cut-through motor traffic we will help protect this precious environment and we will enable increasing numbers of visitors to enjoy engaging in the natural environment and walking and cycling in the parks safely and peacefully, now and into the future."
Through-traffic in Bushy Park is restricted due to partial closures on Chestnut Avenue between the Teddington and Hampton Court Gates.
The measures mean that the parks can only be used by drivers wishing to use the car parks at the Diana Fountain and Pheasantry - and not as a cut-though or 'rat run' when Hampton Court Road is congested.
The trial saw was introduced for 6 months last year along with other traffic reduction schemes in five of London's Royal Parks, including Richmond Park.
Earlier this year, the trial was extended for another 12 months and March 2022 will see a decision made on its permanence.
You can read more about the schemes on the Royal Parks website
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