Schoolboy calls for Richmond Park car-free Sundays in bid to save Olympic legacy


Ben Lewis-Clare has launched an e-petition.


By Cyrus Engineer

A schoolboy is calling on the government to make Richmond Park car-free on Sundays in a bid to save the Olympic legacy.

Ben Lewis-Clare from west London has launched an e-petition claiming that closing the park to motor vehicles will increase cycling participation in the area.

He also argues this will improve the conservation and protection of the park for future generations.

“After watching the Olympic road races navigate London and the Surrey Hills many people have been inspired to get out on their bikes,” said Ben.

“This increase in participation can only be maintained if there are suitable and safe venues in which to cycle.”

The petition claims that two-thirds of the people they surveyed felt no benefit from London hosting the Olympics and Paralympics.

The petition came at the end of a week that saw Olympic hero Bradley Wiggins and the head coach of GB cycling both injured in cycling accidents.

The Tour de France winner and Olympic medalist was knocked off his bike near his home in Lancashire while Shane Sutton suffered bleeding on the brain after an accident in Manchester on last Thursday.

The main road through the park, Sawyers Hill, is extremely busy most days and saves drivers from having to go around the outside of the park.

Paul Luton of the Richmond Cycling Campaign expressed his support of the idea.

“I would very much welcome it,” he said.

“I can imagine it would make the park a lot quieter as well promoting a healthy attitude.”

As Richmond Park is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve, any changes to the park must go through the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

To read the petition, see

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