Shropshire cyclists 'Pedal on COP' calling for two-wheel investment

Around 100 cyclists took to the streets of Ludlow to put pressure on local and national politicians to do more to promote two wheels as a way to halt climate change.

Cyclists gather for the Pedal on COP meeting in Ludlow
Cyclists gather for the Pedal on COP meeting in Ludlow

The Pedal on COP gathering on Saturday morning saw old and young, families and individuals heading off on their five mile cycle around the streets of town in a carnival atmosphere with bells tinkling and cheers rising.

Put together in just 10 days by Isla Rowntree it was a part of the Global Day of Action on Climate Change which saw marches and protests around the country.

A delighted Isla said: "It is a fantastic turnout and now we need government to invest in the cycling network."

The event wasn't anti-car as there were people who turned up at The Linney with their two wheels in the back of four-wheeled vehicles.

Rachel Purdy with some young protesters

But Tim Goodall, from Ludlow, said: "We shouldn't have to use cars for two-mile journeys."

He says cycling around Ludlow is more dangerous than in London because the infrastructure doesn't support people on bikes.

And he believes there would be more of a chance to be able to tackle climate change if people used cycles instead of cars for those short journeys to the shops.

"If we are going to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, when we are already at 1.2 degrees we need the politicians act more ambitiously."

One politician who was there was Ludlow mayor and cyclist Councillor Robin Pote, who does not have a car.

"This is my sole form of transport," he said.

"I am in favour of making every effort we can to reduce the danger to the environment... and it is good exercise."

Owen Smith came with a model plane for 'extra lift'

Among the families there was Geoff Ockenden and his children Lucy, 13, and Thomas, 10, who were riding a three-seater bike.

Also in the throng were Ludlow family Hagi Mabraka, his wife Rachel Purdy, and their two children, aged eight and three.

Hagi said: "We want to ask the Government to take action for our climate, for our children."

At the other end of the experience scale was Owen Smith, said he is 88.7 years old. A "serious cyclist" for 25 years he has been in the saddle for 80.

He had travelled from Leominster to be a part of the protest, and had a balsa wood model plane on top of his safety helmet to provide "extra lift".

Cyclists were free to join and leave anywhere along the route, which included safety marshalls who were carrying large red flags to warn motorists as they were on their circular route that ended on Castle Square.

One person who would have joined in too had it not been for an injury to her arm was Jules McRobbie who was also delighted with the turnout.

"Hopefully this will also put pressure on local government too to do something," she said.

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