‘No Going Back’ to busy, polluted streets - Extinction Rebellion Exeter host weekend of socially distanced action

Extinction Rebellion has ‘Reclaimed the Streets’ of Exeter by taking part in a socially distanced bike ride.

Their actions called for the government to prioritise public health and well-being as the UK lockdown is eased and to invest in safer streets for walking and cycling.

This weekend groups around the UK reclaimed streets by painting stencils of bikes in normally congested, polluted areas with non-toxic paint or chalk.

They also went on a physically distanced bike ride.

A protest in Exeter in September 2019. Credit: ITV News

Although the group welcome the government investing an emergency £250million to widen streets and bring in temporary bike lanes, Extinction Rebellion says the current long term spending plan doesn’t go far enough.

The group says every town and city will need to make huge changes to allow people to safely socially distance. They intend to highlight the depth of the problem this weekend.

The protest comes as the nationwide lockdown has eased with emissions expected to rise sharply as roads begin to go back to business-as-usual.

Extinction Rebellion are campaigning for 'No Going Back' to polluted, busy, toxic streets after a YouGov survey reveals only 9% want to go back to the way things were before the pandemic hit.

They say their actions will not involve blocking roads or limiting road use.

There has been a huge increase in cycling in the last few weeks including families with children. We need to act immediately so they don't get frightened back into their cars when traffic levels rise again.

Marilyn Spurr, Exeter resident