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XR activists paint their own cycle lanes for lockdown rides

Road markings created during ‘socially distanced action’ by Islington branch of Extinction Rebellion

22 May, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Extinction Rebellion campaigners cycling in Blackstock Road

ACTIVISTS have painted their own cycle lanes on roads across the borough, calling on the council and Transport for London to give bikes and pedestrians more space.

Members of the Islington branch of Extinction Rebellion (XR) took to the streets over the weekend to take part in what they called a “socially distanced action” by painting new markings and signs in Upper Street, Blackstock Road and Liverpool Road.

As the Tribune previously reported, many have called on the council to take the virus lockdown as an opportunity to permanently make pavements bigger and block off certain residential roads from cars.

The DIY cycle lanes on the road

The Town Hall has said it is considering options.

The government has been urging people not to take public transport and to walk, cycle and drive instead if they can.

But Islington XR activists believe that this may spark a rise in the number of cars on the roads among people avoiding tubes and buses.

In a open letter, XR said: “Several cities in the world are successfully implementing short-term measures. We have not yet seen anything like that in Islington.”

The anonymous activists added that they have received requests to paint more cycle lanes on other Islington roads.

Islington’s environment chief Labour councillor Rowena Champion said the Town Hall was committed to improving conditions for walking and cycling.

Sam Monck, TfL’s head of investment delivery planning for healthy streets, said: “Our plans will be the biggest ever rapid transformation of London’s streets.”

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