TMS were commissioned in September 2022 to carry out a combined Stage 1 & 2 Road Safety Audit on the proposed improvements within Richmond Park, London. This was a unique audit for the team given that the scheme is for a Royal Park and as such, its roads are private and do not form part of the public highway.
Richmond Park, is the largest of London’s Royal Parks and is of national and international importance for wildlife conservation. Historically the preserve of the monarch, the park is now open for all to use and includes a golf course and other facilities for sport and recreation. Richmond Park played an important role in both world wars and in the 1948 and 2012 Olympics.
During the initial site visit for the design stage Road Safety Audit, it was obvious that the Royal Park was very popular with the public, for dog walkers, cyclists, joggers, and walkers in general, enjoying the open nature and wildlife (the site is still inhabited by deer).
The objective of the scheme is to provide new and improved pedestrian crossing facilities throughout the park, with upgrades including the provision of raised tables and improved footway links. Also included as part of the scheme were new gateway features to aid traffic management (vehicle restrictions and cycle traffic calming).
These improvements were predominantly located on the main perimeter / circular route around the park which is approximately 7 miles long.
Following the completion of the traffic management scheme in summer 2023, the original audit team carried out the final Stage 3 Road Safety Audit.
However, as Richmond Park operates differently at the weekend to weekdays, with certain sections of the private roads closed off, an additional Sunday site visit was commissioned, as part of the Stage 3 Road Safety Audit.
The purpose of the weekend site visit was to observe the operation of the park and the different traffic movements at the weekend, where pedestrians and cyclist still have full access and motorised vehicles are restricted via the new gating system. The weekend site visit was also conducted by bike, where the 7 mile perimeter route and side road sections were cycled in full. As the park is very popular with cyclists, this helped to give a better insight for this particular road user.
When the park was closed at dusk, where all motorised vehicles must vacate and the main gates are closed, the deer made a welcome appearance.
It was a beautiful summers evening for the audit team to carry out the night time site visit, which formed part of the Stage 3 Road Safety Audit – a refreshing change to some of the usual locations our auditors get to experience!
We are committed to tailoring audits to observe peak traffic situations and can conduct Road Safety Audits using different modes of transport applicable to the scheme, to ensure all potential safety issues are covered.