Dozens of protesters have staged a symbolic funeral procession across central London, ending in a die-in in Trafalgar Square to highlight the need for measures to protect cyclists.
The protest, organised by Extinction Rebellion in partnership with Stop Killing Cyclists, called on the Government to start investing £6 billion a year on cycling infrastructure.
The march, which began at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, was led by three horse-drawn funeral hearses meant to represent the deaths of cyclists caused by road accidents and pollution.
They were loaded up with empty coffins, with words painted on their sides including “crashes” and “pollution”.
The protest was meant to highlight unsafe road conditions for cyclists as well as the potential consequences in cities where cycling is not encouraged.
Protesters’ other demands include a reversal of fuel tax cuts and the institution of car-free villages, towns and city centres.
Marchers held placards which read “Stop killing cyclists” and “Don’t be a fossil fool”, as they walked slowly to a soundtrack of bagpipes.
Once in Trafalgar Square, they staged a “die-in” by lying on the ground in a bid to highlight the epidemic of cyclist deaths.
This was inspired by a similar historic protest in the Netherlands in the mid-1970s which led Dutch cities to become among the most cycle-friendly in the world.
According to Transport for London figures, 12 cyclists were killed and 770 were seriously injured in Greater London in 2018.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?