Cycle for the Planet: Critical Mass bike ride
July 24, 2020
XR Glasgow rebels are joining Critical Mass’s first monthly ride around Glasgow since lockdown on Friday 31 July.
The event will take place on Friday 31 July 2021 in George Square, Glasgow and you don’t have to be a cyclist to attend.
Non-cycling rebels are planning to attend in solidarity (and also to say a social-distance hello to each other after months of lockdown and zoom meetings). We start riding for the planet at 7pm.
Critical Mass is a movement fighting for equity of transport and making active travel less dangerous on our streets. They ride once a month in mass as an act of solidarity with those who have lost their lives to reckless driving and an act of protest against poor city planning.
About this event
This event is accessible and inclusive – find out more about accessibility for this event.
You are requested to maintain social distance at all times and err on the side of caution by wearing masks if you can. Please bring your own hand sanitiser.
You can also find out more about safety whilst participating in the cycling part of this event.
Please note that this event is primarily hosted and organised by Critical Mass Glasgow. More information on this event.
It’s time to rebel again
Despite the talk about a post-coronavirus green recovery, we are still not even close to dealing with the climate and ecological emergency.
The Cycle for the Planet action will be the first in a mix of new actions currently being planned by XR Scotland and XR UK.
Yet again, our leaders are unable or unwilling to take the action needed to prevent this crisis. Yet again we have to rebel simply to save the only planet we’ve got.
Cycle for the planet
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) studied how biking could reduce carbon emissions by a substantial amount.
Currently bikes and e-bikes make up 6% of miles traveled in world cities. If by 2050, bikes and e-bikes make up 14% of travel in world cities, there would be an overall 11% reduction in carbon emissions.
The comparison of CO2 released during production and per km is 313 g of CO2 for a car and 16 g of CO2 for a bike. This presents a clear picture: commuting with a bike reduces an individual’s carbon footprint significantly.
Find out more about cycling and your carbon footprint.
Cycle for Glasgow
At the end of April car journeys across Scotland were down 70% compared to a normal year, whereas journeys by bike were up a massive 120%.
As the lockdown eases, Councils across Scotland are considering ways to encourage walking and cycling, and reduce car traffic and air pollution.
In Glasgow, as well as the Clyde Street pop-up bike lane and Kelvin Way filtering, there are three work streams involving the city centre, local neighbourhoods and active travel routes (light segregated cycle lanes on eight roads). There is also a Commonplace site for further suggestions.
However, despite some progress, we all know that far more needs to be done by Glasgow City Council and the Scottish government to implement cycling infrastructure, help improve road behaviour and use cycling as a means of escaping transport poverty.
“We are traffic” – it’s not just about infrastructure
More people rode bikes during lockdown partly because the streets were safer, cleaner and quieter. A Cycling Scotland survey from 2019 found that the main barrier to cycling in Scotland is ‘not feeling safe on the roads’ (68% of respondents), and 81% said that more cycle lanes, traffic free routes & cycle paths would motivate them to cycle.
While more permanent infrastructure is needed, many cyclists also want better enforcement of current laws on dangerous driving, improved road maintenance and more tolerance from car drivers in sharing road space.
In Britain in 2016, 18,477 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents, including 3,499 who were killed or seriously injured. These figures only include cyclists killed or injured in road accidents that were reported to the police. Many cyclist casualties are not reported to the police, even when the cyclist is injured badly enough to be taken to hospital.
Sustrans Scotland analysis highlights that children on foot or bike are more than three times as likely to be involved in a traffic accident in the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland than the 20% least deprived areas.
Find out more about increased cycling during lockdown.
From health to better air
More cycling would help improve the environment including air quality, carbon emissions, noise pollution, physical severance from places, and social exclusion. Our dependence on cars has driven the climate change crisis and contributed to ill-health. This has led to social inequality, with people living in more deprived communities most likely to suffer from road danger and pollution, yet least likely to drive.
Environments that support active travel by making it easier for people to get around by foot and cycle provide many benefits in health and wellbeing, retail activities and NHS savings
How cycling and walking can increase life expectancy.
Cycling, transport and poverty
Transport Poverty comes from when people don’t have access to essential services or work because of a lack of affordable transport options. Research found that the risk of transport poverty was highest in Scottish areas with low income and low access to essential services by public transport. However, 61% of these high-risk areas were places where services could be reached by bike in 10 minutes or by foot in half an hour.