Extinction Rebellion calls for cycling and walking rates to be continued once coronavirus pandemic ends

By Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter

Bromley’s small band of Extinction Rebellion members joined in a national protest over the weekend, in an appeal for current increased rates of cycling and walking to be maintained once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

The demonstration was part of a nationwide ‘Reclaim the Streets’ weekend, according to the local chapter, with groups across the country creating pop-up cycle lanes with stencils and organising socially-distanced cycle rides.

On Sunday, members of the Bromley group took part in a bike ride and stood in silence wearing masks on the perimeter of the Green at Elmers End.

According to the group, the aim of the co-ordinated actions was to call on the Government to prioritise investing in permanently safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists.

It comes as authorities across London take action to widen streets in a bid to make them more cycle and pedestrian friendly.

A spokeswoman from Bromley XR said they hoped to see pop-up cycle lanes in the near future in the borough.

“Extinction Rebellion are saying there should be No Going Back to polluted, busy and toxic streets.  Do we really want to return to that polluted world or is there a better way of doing things?” said the spokesperson.

“Whilst we acknowledge that the government has made a positive step in the creation of safe space for cyclists and pedestrians during the pandemic by instructing local councils to temporarily widen pavements and create bike lanes within the next few weeks, we think it’s crucial that these changes are made permanent.”

It’s the latest action by the local group, with their recent activities including staging vocal protests interrupting council meetings earlier this year.

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