Did you know that in the Royal parks, certain
activities are deemed illegal? Notably, playing a
musical instrument, flying a kite, playing any
game, or engaging in any form of sport or exercise.
At Marylebone Magistrates Court yesterday a case
was heard regarding the legality of Rollerblading
in the Royal Parks. Ever since an collision
involving a skater and a cyclist resulted in the
accidental death of the cyclist, signs have been
posted in the parks forbidding both activities.
The case yesterday questioned whether or not it was
in fact an offence to participate in these
activities in the park.
In May of this year, Mr. Martin Brass was stopped
by Police in Regents Park whilst skating to work
one afternoon. PC Watson (PC33) of the Parks
Police told him that it was 'illegal' to skate in
Regents Park, and asked whether he had seen the
painted signs on the pavement forbidding Skating
and Cycling. Mr Brass was summonsed under a
regulation of the Royal and other parks and gardens
regulations, that he failed to comply with a
direction for the regulation of skating given by a
notice exhibited by order of the Secretary of
Mr Brass, represented by Mr Richard Bentwood
(Barrister at Law, instructed by Meaby & Co.),
argued that it can not be an offence to Skate or
Cycle in the park, merely because a sign has been
painted on the pavement, but rather such a sign
must have posted by order of the Secretary of State
for the offence to have been committed.
Mr Bentwood stated that if it were not the case, it
would be possible for a sign to be painted
forbidding 'fast walking' making that activity
illegal, as fast walking would come under the
umbrella of 'any sport or exercise'. When the
prosecution rebutted that 'any intelligent or
normal' person would have known that it was
illegal, Mr Bentwood stated that this case was not
a question of intelligence or normality, but that
it was a question of the law.
In point of law, a painted sign on the pavement
does not constitute a sign posted by order of the
Secretary of State, and therefore, in this case, no
crime had been committed. The Magistrates agreed
and the case was dismissed, but not before an
important point had been made.
Bearing in mind the number of deaths that occur on
the roads each year, should it really be illegal to
Skate or Cycle in the Royal parks?