Recently, announcements have appeared by DHP gates regarding the enforcement of no cycling and dogs on leads.  Can anyone shed any light why this has happened?  

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Does seem over kill for what, outside of sunny weekends/flowershow etc is a quiet path.

It has been a quiet back route for cyclist for so long that there is a shared path from the traffic lights to the dukes Head which one assumes is for access to this path?

I have seen the odd berk riding too fast, though more often it's runners, until the sign I had used it as my commute to work, in fairness normally well before/after most folks are awake let alone in the park, was a spate about a year ago of folks leaving dog sh*t bags attached to the bushes which did seem fairly nasty.

It's a total overreaction - as someone says I regularly cycle, run (and walk without my bike) along the shared footpath and across the lights into Dukes Head passage - I've lived here for more than 12 years (and I know there are many of you who've been in Hampton way longer!) and it's always been like that as long as I can remember. It's not on to suddenly change things but obviously cyclists, walkers, runners, people with dogs all need to get along together as we have done (on the whole) for years! Also I thought the drive is towards encouraging people to cycle? I cycled to Yoga in Kingston today and weighed up whether to take the car or use my bike. As the route through Bushy (via Duke's head) is so direct I left the car at home and got on two wheels! That's better for the environment, traffic load and pollution. On the dog front, I don't have a dog but I also think it is an over-reaction to make them be put on leads for those who do ... i have rarely seen a badly behaved dog along that passage most are in full control of their owners ... though don't like the sound of those bags on bushes. Bottom line is we all have the right to use that passage and need to get along together. Most of time in the week it is a really quiet beautiful back route.

I agree, I think it's completely over the top and depressing that local people's enjoyment has been restricted in yet another way. I use the path regularly for dog walking and over the years have cycled it frequently and have never had a major problem. Yes there are some annoying dog owners who don't clear up (a dog on a lead doesn't alter this) and a few cyclists that maybe should slow down but these restrictions are unnecessary. A sign at each end reminding users that it's a shared path and to be courteous is probably all that's needed.

I have asked the Cycling UK liaison officer to find out from Royal Parks and he came back with flooding ?? and poor sight lines (they aren't).

The Park Manager has responded :

Our highlighted notification of the Regulations (Regulations that have always been present though not enforced as the cause was previously not great enough) is done to carry out our responsibility serving everyone best.

The responses on here and elsewhere suggest that most people think that such a heavy handed approach isn't needed. (and regulations that are not publicised effectively don't exist. 50 years of unchallenged use may be grounds for change of status)

Incidentally the consultants that LBRUT employed to design a Cycling Quietway from Kingston to Hanworth suggested using Dukes Head Passage and I  pushed instead for a route using wider roads via the main Hampton Hill gate. There is a difference between suggesting a narrow pathway as a main cycle route and allowing occasional considerate usage.

I cycle (and sometimes push my bike when I'm not in a rush and its a lovely day!) along Duke Head passage every day since 2005, and am on nodding/hello terms with many dog walkers.

I agree, its an overreaction and simple common sense and maybe a sign at each end reminding users that it's a shared path and to be courteous is all that's needed.

Thanks to everyone who has replied and contributed to date.  Paul, the feedback you received is interesting.  Flooding?  Poor sight lines?  Does anyone from the Royal Parks use DHP?  Apologies for the sarcasm, but this feedback reminds me of the justification used when they put up the fencing along the small river.  Apparently it was because deer were loose on the footpath.  Curiouser and curiouser!
 
Paul Luton said:

I have asked the Cycling UK liaison officer to find out from Royal Parks and he came back with flooding ?? and poor sight lines (they aren't).

The Park Manager has responded :

Our highlighted notification of the Regulations (Regulations that have always been present though not enforced as the cause was previously not great enough) is done to carry out our responsibility serving everyone best.

The responses on here and elsewhere suggest that most people think that such a heavy handed approach isn't needed. (and regulations that are not publicised effectively don't exist. 50 years of unchallenged use may be grounds for change of status)

This is the reply I had last week from the park manager.I did email him back but have not heard further as yet!

"Our responsibility in managing Bushy Park requires safety and protection of the character and structure of the place whilst preserving an improving its purpose and use in society.
There are Park Regulations and these are best applied not to the letter, but in a way to best serve the park and its users protectively for their combined benefit. We do favour accommodation and compromise.
Dukes Head Passage is a narrow pathway and in popular use by different types of travel. It is however too narrow to segregate these uses from each other.
Our highlighted notification of the Regulations (Regulations that have always been present though not enforced as the cause was previously not great enough) is done to carry out our responsibility serving everyone best
No one is excluded from using the route.
Walking a cycle for about 10 minutes at the most and keeping a dog on a lead are small compromise with the benefit of polite respect, safety and hygiene to all"

I use Dukes Head passage to access Bushy Park with my 1 year old (on my bike) and my 3 year old (on his own bike) as it is the safest way to access the park for family cycling.  Dog walkers, cyclists, runners and walkers seem to pass each other without any problem so this does seem to be an over-reaction.

Asking my 3 year old to dismount while I push his little brother on my bike for a few hundred yards is actually quite a challenge.  A sign to remind people that it is a shared use path should be all that is needed.

I too emailed the park manager, Ray Brodie RBrodie@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk and received the same response as posted by Paul and jen.

This issue was raised in the meeting of LBRUT Cycling Liaison Group on 19th April and the Chair of the group, Cllr Jean Loveland, is in the process of liaising with Royal Parks. I hope she will be able to progress beyond the standard email.

This is true - I know, because I was the one who raised it. I also made a formal request that the minutes of the meeting, along with a brief from the chair, should be forwarded to the Leader of the Council, Cllr True given that he holds one of the 12 seats on the Royal Parks Board.

In addition to this on the 20th May there will be a meeting of the Royal Parks Stakeholders Group. I have already been in contact with the Meeting Secretary to request that the issue be tabled for discussion. I received a less than satisfactory response that it would be possible to raise the issue inter alia, however I have countered with the argument that this is evoking such strength of feeling locally that it really does merit a separate agenda point. I am hoping that the Chief Executive of the Royal Parks will be able to join us at that meeting so the points can be made directly.


 SimonW said:

This issue was raised in the meeting of LBRUT Cycling Liaison Group on 19th April and the Chair of the group, Cllr Jean Loveland, is in the process of liaising with Royal Parks. I hope she will be able to progress beyond the standard email.

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