Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 20 May 2020

Extinction Rebellion Campaign: Guerrilla Bike Lanes Appear On Brighton Streets

Guerrilla bike lanes appeared overnight on the streets of Brighton as part of an Extinction Rebellion campaign to highlight the urgent need for more cycling space in the city.

Cycling lanes have been created by Extinction Rebellion activists in Hannover, London Road and the Old Steine with dozens of bright pink, yellow and green bike stencils.

The pop-up bike lanes draw attention to the fact that dangerous, polluting cars must give way to bikes in order to tackle our environmental crises and the dangers of travel during a pandemic.

Toxic air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from road transport have dropped in the city – and across the world – after lockdowns were imposed to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Less cars on the roads has also led to more cycling and walking as our neighbourhoods have become safer.

As lockdown is eased, climate change activists, academics and politicians are calling on cities to dedicate more road space to active travel to prevent emissions returning to previous levels.

Offering a viable alternative to cars would also help avoid an emissions surge from private vehicles as social distancing means public transport cannot meet demand. 

ERB Present Dinah Lee's "Which Way to Go?"

An Extinction Rebellion Brighton spokesperson said: 

"We have seen ambitious cycling and pedestrianisation schemes in other cities in the UK. London, for example, is closing some of its busiest roads to cars completely.

"We're pleased that Brighton and Hove City council is looking at this issue, but the action taken so far doesn"t go far enough – and falls short of what other cities are doing.

"Brighton residents want to see faster and bolder policies so the quality of life improvements we"ve seen during lockdown don't evaporate.

"Cycling and other forms of active travel must be prioritised across the city. In particular there needs to be wide, ideally segregated, bike lanes on all major roads leading into the city centre.

"Brighton residents want to be able to breathe clean air instead of choking on car fumes. They want to be able to get to work in a safe, socially distanced way. They want pedals, not pollution.

"We hope these make-shift bike lanes will encourage people to see our public spaces differently and realise the benefits of clean, safe, active travel.

"The pandemic has been a horrible and tragic experience, but it has shown us that another, better future is possible."

Brighton and Hove City Council have reallocated 1.7 miles of the Old Shoreham Road for cycling to facilitate active travel in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The authority is also considering new bike lanes on the King"s Road (A259) and the A23, as well as closing Sydney Street and Gardner Street in North Laine to cars on weekdays.

by: Mike Cobley




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