Climate Rush Protest Marks Car Free Day

By BethPH Last edited 79 months ago
Climate Rush Protest Marks Car Free Day

Environmental campaign group Climate Rush marked World Carfree Day by protesting outside TfL's offices.

Blackfriars Bridge - itself the scene of protests against the removal of the 20mph speed limit - was the starting point for the convoy of cyclists. The group's agenda was a car-free London, an overhaul of TfL's transport policies to prioritise people over vehicles and a 20mph speed limit. TfL's managing director of surface transport, Leon Daniels, was quick to point out their part in improving things for all road users:

'TfL has invested millions in improving London's streets for all road users, especially cyclists over the last decade and will continue to do so. We are only directly responsible for five per cent of the capital's road network (the red routes), which are primarily the main arterial roads into and out of London, so the vast majority of roads and cycle lanes in London are maintained by the boroughs, who we are working with to improve provision for cyclists through TfL local implementation funding and the Mayor's Biking Boroughs scheme.'

Climate Rush were also the instigators of a flashmob roadblock protest in July at the Euston Road.

TfL recently urged operators of commercial vehicles to take action to reduce emissions in line with upcoming changes to Low Emission Zone (LEZ) standards.

Last Updated 22 September 2011

Dean Nicholas

I dislike cars, but I'm no fan of militant cyclists either.


I wasn't at this one, but this isn't a fair representation of their aims. They never called for a car free London, the aim of the protest was:

"re-prioritisation of people in TfL’s policies, specifically, a 20mph
limit throughout central London, car-light and car-free areas, and a
democratically-accountable TfL."

The evidence is that people want to have the choice to cycle but dangerous infrastructure is the biggest deterant. The worst of that infrastructure if frequently where car-centric TfL has control: at blackfriars, vauxhall, parliament square, elephant and castle, Victoria, Hyde Park Corner etc. Similarly these are horrible places to be a pedestrian.


I don't think it's inaccurate to say that they'd like a car-free London when we see quotes such as this one: 'Andrew Tobert, from Climate Rush, said: "Imagine if cars were banned from central London?" (from the BBC report linked to).


As someone who was in attendance at this protest and at previous Climate Rush protests, I can confirm that we are not a bunch of militant cyclists, or lycra-wearing eco-terrorists. Rather, people of all ages and walks of life attended. These people support the cause of safer cycling and walking in central London, and agree that TfL is undemocratic and has ignored the pleas of average Londoners.

There's nothing wrong with asking people to imagine a car-free London, and no one expects that cars will be banned. We'd just like TfL to think outside the car and car drivers (especially single passenger cars!) to think about possibly leaving their vehicle parked and getting on a bicycle/their own two feet for a change.