Three of Croydon’s main parks are to become more cycle-friendly as the council changes byelaws and invests in better paths and signage.
Lloyd Park, Park Hill Recreation Ground and Wandle Park are all to get cycle routes, making riding a bike to school or work and getting out on two wheels at the weekend as far safer and more pleasant experience.
The project is part of nearly £4m of investment by the council in improved connections across the borough and will complete Croydon’s Connect2 walking and cycling route, part funded by the charity Sustrans. It follows a consultation that received nearly 1,000 responses, approximately three quarters of which supported the idea.
Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Croydon is well-known for being exceptionally well-served by public transport, but as more people move into the area to live and work here we want to encourage cycling and walking for shorter journeys. This project will go a long way to achieving that aim. Allowing cycling through these parks is a key part of creating a safe cycle network which will help us to reduce air pollution and encourage more people to make healthier travel choices.”
Croydon has some 127 parks and open spaces. Although byelaws are in place to prohibit cycling the council will only enforce the rules if people are acting inconsiderately and putting other park users at risk.
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “Parks are great shared spaces that can be used by all sorts of people for a wide range of different things. So for those who want to give cycling a try, on their own, with friends or family shared paths like these are ideal.”
The consultation exercise resulted in a number of minor amendments being made to the original proposals, including changes to the routes and improved landscaping, such as new trees.