A new local pressure group are making demands on the Government and the BCP council to create a greener Bournemouth. 

The environmentalists ‘Cycling Rebellion’ who protest through mass bike riding, converge on busy roads to get their message across. They say that this particular action is not illegal, but they prepared to break new protests laws, which, they say, are anti protest and unfair. 

Their demands are a 20-mph speed limit; mass roll out of low traffic neighborhoods, and an end to schemes that would increase traffic, such as huge developments out of town. Also, a 50% reduction in car use on busy road and a lot more cycling lanes called for. 

C Rs founder Adam Osman claims the demands are realistic and have proven to work elsewhere. He said: “I think we are already in this fight or flight situation with the climate – let’s just do something.”  

An example of direct-action succeeding is Paris, where now the whole city is cycling friendly, with the number of cyclists doubled in the city and a cheap wooden infrastructure. 

He criticised BCP council for their slow response to the climate emergency. He quoted the councils statement that ‘we will get there eventually.’ And said: “We don’t have eventually; we have this decade or that bad stuff is locked in.” 

Also denounced are the governments themselves. Mr. Osman said, “Our government only allows very expensive infrastructure. We want to see an end to that.” 

However, despite the Paris example, local MP for Bournemouth East Tobias Ellwood said the demands are not realistic and went on to say, “It’s disingenuous, indeed overly simplistic, to suggest the government is anti-tackling climate change. This government has brought in a raft of policies that see us leading much of the west in meeting our targets and reducing emissions.” 

As for the BCP council, he also criticised them and said, “I pushed for a light railway in Bournemouth in 2005. It does not even appear in Bournemouth’s local plan as an ambition.” 

Other local green groups support and agree with Cycling Rebellion. East Dorset Friends of the Earth’s Coordinator Angela Pooley said: We fully support the 50% reduction in car use and more cycling lanes, and the 20-mph speed limit is welcome around schools.” 

This is contrary to Mr. Ellwood’s assertion that the cycle network is not safe enough to replace all school runs.” 

He said: “I called for a proper town wide cycle network that links up north of the Stour.” 

Ms. Pooley condemned Mr. Ellwood’s claims and said he is totally wrong. She added, “The government is not doing enough. Unfortunately, none of our local MP’s are trying to make a difference.” 

She went on to say that both Conor Burns and Christopher Chope are climate denialists. 

Adam Osman said that the Cycling Rebellion plans to go nationwide. 

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