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Havering Extinction Rebellion and Havering Cyclists join forces to lobby council for better cycling network

PUBLISHED: 09:30 08 July 2020

Havering Cyclists members Jeff Stafford (L) and Terry Hughes (R) have added their names to the open letter to Cllr Damian White, which calls for better cycling networks to be implemented in the borough. Picture: Havering Cyclists

Havering Cyclists members Jeff Stafford (L) and Terry Hughes (R) have added their names to the open letter to Cllr Damian White, which calls for better cycling networks to be implemented in the borough. Picture: Havering Cyclists

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Havering’s Extinction Rebellion group has joined forces with Havering Cyclists to lobby the council for improved cycling networks in the borough.

An open letter — signed by members of both organisations — asks council leader Councillor Damian White to “take some bold decisions” to make the area more cycle-friendly.

It first references the impact that coronavirus has had on cycling, saying: “The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a huge increase in the number of people walking and cycling for work, shopping and for their exercise and so we are asking you to take some simple steps to give people more space to walk and cycle in safety.”

The letter continues by highlighting that government funding is available to do this, allocated especially to facilitate a post-lockdown cycling surge.

“They (the government) recognise that as the lockdown eases, people are in a real dilemma about how to undertake their essential journeys while avoiding public transport and maintaining social distancing.”

Members of the local Extinction Rebellion branch have joined forces with Havering Cyclings to lobby the council for better cycling infraestructure in the borough. Picture: Extinction Rebellion HaveringMembers of the local Extinction Rebellion branch have joined forces with Havering Cyclings to lobby the council for better cycling infraestructure in the borough. Picture: Extinction Rebellion Havering

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It next draws attention to the recent interim report from the government’s committee for climate change, which makes the following recommendations: “Infrastructure to make it easy for people to walk, cycle and work remotely. Dedicated safe spaces for walking and cycling, more bike parking and support for shared bikes and scooters can help the nation get back to work in a more sustainable way.“

In terms of recommendations for the borough, the groups acknowledge that “the opportunities for segregated cycle lanes within the borough are limited to the widest of our main roads”, but say that a number of designated road closures would help create safe cycling “corridors”.

The groups urge Havering Council to follow the lead of other London boroughs, such as Enfield and Kingston, who are already doing this.

It concludes by emphasising the importance of change, saying: “All that is needed is for us to stop thinking of the car as the only way to travel.”

To add your support, sign the petition before 2pm today (Wednesday, July 8).

Havering Council has been contacted for comment.


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