Bournemouth residents today joined Extinction Rebellion Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (XR BCP), who gathered at Horseshoe Common while chanting and ringing bells. The group cycled around Bournemouth in a mass bike ride, in support of better sustainable transport infrastructure. Cars were slowed by the procession cycling around Bournemouth centre, while protesters carried placards and flags highlighting what they wanted in their communities. Their requests included: green walkable spaces, high quality bike lanes and less traffic.
After circling Bournemouth gardens the group gathered near Bournemouth pier where organiser Adam Osman, Technical Administrator and organiser of the event, rallied supporters. Adam ‘called out’ the government’s active travel cuts and highlighted the progress made in other countries regarding low cost, swiftly delivered infrastructure. He praised the progress already made in BCP but made clear there was still much to be done, and with the council declaring a climate emergency we are running out of time.
Hannah Lindher, a paramedics assistant, said:
“We are calling for an acceleration in development of the proposed walking and cycling infrastructure in the Local Cycling Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). We support the proposed plans, and want to engage with the council regarding how this can be accomplished in a more timely and cost effective manner. Key connections such as Ashley Cross to Westbourne are planned, but will not be delivered for at least ten years, and are costed in the tens of millions. In light of the climate emergency, and the rising traffic, we all know this needs to be done sooner.”
Daniel Glennon, a customer service trainer, said
“We desperately need to decrease emissions in order to prevent a climate disaster. More journeys made by bicycle will massively decrease the amount of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere.”
Ralph Doe, a retired bookshop owner said:
“Youngsters cannot drive, and being able to cycle gives them a great sense of independence. But they can’t do this without safe infrastructure. A city built for cars is one that is incredibly socially isolating for children and adds to the already existing social issues we are experiencing in BCP. I am devastated that the government has cut £200 million off the active travel funding so soon after announcing it, while pouring £20bn into carbon capture, a technology which has never worked. Bikes are here now and already bringing down pollution.”
Adam Osman went on to say:
“Paris has achieved a remarkable change in a very short span of time! With over 50km of ‘pop-up’ protected bike lanes (cheap bollards, bricks or planters), installed cost efficiently during the pandemic now becoming permanent. This new cycling infrastructure has led to a 70 per cent increase in cycling journeys, and now 15 per cent of all journeys are by bicycle. In BCP, 50 per cent of commutes are less than 5km, almost all of which could be made by bike. And E-bikes could easily cover the 80 per cent of commutes under 10km! Once the temporary infrastructure in Paris was in, they then carried out a review to decide which cycle lanes to upgrade or dispense with. This is what we want for BCP.”
The event was attended by more than 40 cyclists, including families, riding for over an hour.
For more information contact XR BCP spokesperson Adam Osman on email@example.com or 07557905334.