Extinction Rebellion holds Bristol protest against airport expansion and public transport provision

XR Bristol 3007 West Country

The environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion has been holding a protest in Bristol today (July 29) against climate change and public transport services in the city.

XR Bristol organised a day of campaigning that began on Queens Square and included a march throughout the city centre.

The 'Day of Action' was intended to focus on three of the group’s particular demands: to stop the expansion of Bristol Airport, to nationalise public transport services as well as reduce fares.

Bristol Airport was given the go-ahead to expand from 10 million passengers a year to 12 million earlier this year after a lengthy planning inquiry.

The 'day of action' was organised by the movement Extinction Rebellion

Ben Moss who lives in the Chew Valley area has been a long-time campaigner to stop airport expansion said: "Earlier this month we witnessed the tarmac on airport runways meting as the UK sweltered in the highest temperatures ever recorded.

"The need to drastically reduce CO2 emissions is so urgent yet we are having to campaign tirelessly to fend off Bristol Airport from expanding."

Extinction Rebellion Youth Bristol (XRYB) is campaigning for free bus travel for young people to help alleviate the cost of living crisis.

A National Audit Office survey conducted in 2020 found that 57 per cent of motorists would drive less if bus fares were lower and services improved.

XR Bristol is also advocating for the nationalisation of bus services as it feels zero emission fleets would more accessible under public ownership.

Luke Lanyon-Hogg, spokesperson for XR Bristol, said: "We face a climate emergency and we need to urgently rethink how we travel around the area.

Hundreds gathered in Bristol to protest against issues surrounding transport and climate

"As a non-driver public transport is very important to me and the state of Bristol buses makes me angry.

"Over the past 5 years I've seen the price of a day ticket go up by two pounds, while the number of services is going down.

"I have no objection to my taxes subsidising public transport, but I want to see all that money go to improving services, not into the pockets of shareholders.

"Public transport should be for people not for profit.

"The environmental and health benefits are clear, more people taking buses means less vehicles on the road which means less emissions.

"We have just had a red weather warning in this country and time has run out so we must prioritise people and planet before profit."