Mass bicycle ride held by Extinction Rebellion branch to demand more cycle routes in and around Leamington
Members of the Warwick district branch of non-violent protest action group Extinction Rebellion (XR) saddled up for a mass bicycle ride in and around Leamington last Saturday (December 14).
A group of around 70 cyclists gathered at the Pump Room Gardens in the morning to highlight the need for more cycle infrastructure in the area.
Their 8km route to Warwick and back through Leamington town centre took in 33 accident hotspots involving 86 collisions between cyclists and vehicles between 2005 and 2017.
Chris Philpott, of the XR branch, said: "More cycle routes would greatly reduce the pollution in Leamington and to help tackle the ongoing climate crisis affecting the entire globe.
"Nitrous oxide levels in the area have breached the World Health Organisation’s limits, particularly in Bath Street. Encouraging more cycling would also benefit people’s mental and physical health.
"It was in order to draw attention to these urgent needs that the Extinction Rebellion cyclists rode as a ‘critical mass’ disrupting traffic.
"In line with Extinction Rebellion’s principles of care and respect, there had been good liaison with the Police who were in attendance and who informed the group that they were satisfied with the number of stewards riding alongside the group.
"Other Extinction Rebellion members handed out leaflets and copies of the XR newspaper ‘The Hourglass’.
"On the final part of the route down the Parade the event was enhanced by the presence of the striking Red Rebel Brigade.
"Dressed in red costumes symbolising the common blood shared with all species, the Red Rebels mime in slow motion and create tableaux, their expressions and movements emphasising peace, non-violence and compassion.
"Saturday’s event brought Red Rebels together from local Extinction Rebellion groups in Coventry, Rugby, Leicester, Northampton and Warwick District.
"The event was well attended, attracted a great deal of interest from members of the public and demonstrated the needs and issues clearly to the local authority.
"Extinction Rebellion is prepared to organise similar protests in the future until its demands for the construction of more cycle paths is met."