Cyclists come together in slow ride across Exeter city centre for safer streets

Dozens of families and residents took to Exeter city centre as part of a campaign for safer streets for children. The national Safe Streets Now day was organised by a coalition of community groups from across the country on Saturday (April 20).

Cyclists left Southernhay Park at 11am and dozens of cyclists rode through the city centre and returned to Southernhay Park for a picnic. Described by an organiser as a "fun ride with a deadly serious message", Safe Streets Now is calling for an end to deaths and serious injuries on the nation's roads.

Similar rides took place across the UK and South West, including Bristol, Bath and Bridgwater. The Kidical Mass bike rides call for "a clear commitment from politicians to reduce the huge number of preventable deaths and injuries" and want to minimise road danger through people-centred public spaces and improved driver and vehicle regulation.

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Kidical Mass Exeter organizer Vipul Patel, an environmental campaigner and local businessman, said: “Our road and town planning schemes and funding have become a bottomless pothole, swallowing tens of billions in funding and only creating bigger problems. We need politicians to lead and make our streets safe for all of us, in every sense.

“We already have the answers, they’re cheap and quick, and political will and bravery are all that’s needed to stop the public health, environmental, and safety crises that we’ve created”.

Professor Richard Betts MBE, a climate scientist at the University of Exeter and Met Office, said: “The scientific evidence shows that cities can reduce carbon emissions substantially by improving infrastructure (...) Making it safer for people to cycle enables them to ride their bikes more often, instead of driving their cars, so helps combat climate change.”