XR wants public transport that works for the people – not against the planet

Extinction Rebellion protesters in Bristol holding up a bus
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On Saturday 5 November at 2pm, young Extinction Rebellion activists in Bristol blocked an Airport Flyer bus at Temple Meads on its way to the City Centre.

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“Fair Travel Not Air Travel”

According to a press release, activists from Extinction Rebellion Youth Bristol (XRYB) blocked the bus’s path by standing around it with banners, including one which read “Fair Travel Not Air Travel”. As the bus was returning from the airport to the City Centre,  no passengers were at risk of missing flights.

On 8 and 9 November, the High Court hears arguments on the expansion of Bristol Airport. XRYB points out that the expansion will significantly increase the quantity of carbon dioxide and equivalent greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere each year. XR Youth previously held a ‘die-in’ protest inside the airport terminal in March.

The most recent protest forms part of XRYB’s Free Buses, Fair Buses campaign that was launched in June. XRYB made the following demands to the West of England Combined Authority and its constituent local authorities:

  1. Free buses: free bus travel within the West of England (including North Somerset) for all those under the age of 25, all students, and all apprentices.
  2. Fair buses: a consultation and public forum to identify improvements to bus routes that would best serve communities.

Journalist and activist George Monbiot has spoken out against the Bristol Airport expansion:

Public transport revolution

XR Youth spokesperson Torin Menzies said:

We need to revolutionise our public transport, including vastly improving the state of the West of England’s frankly awful bus network. Sadly, FirstBus are more interested in serving the potentially expanding Bristol Airport instead of our local communities, cutting bus routes across the region whilst increasing the Airport Flyer service.

Bristol Airport expansion will increase flights and emissions at a time of climate emergency, as well as worsening air quality, and FirstBus are actively supporting these plans. What we need is fair travel, not air travel.

Featured image via Twitter

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