Mayday celebrations in Manchester began yesterday (Friday) with a Critical Mass. Numbers of cyclists had almost doubled from previous months.
Yet, the Mass alos turned out to be more chaotic than usual. 40-50 cyclists could not agree on how fast to go, whether to stop at red lights etc. In the beginning the tail of the ride got lost several times.
On the 14th of April, the first Critical Mass was held in Southend-on-Sea. About 30 people met around 6pm to have a fun cycle ride through the town. With colourful signs and messages stuck to their bikes (i.e. â€˜We are not blocking the traffic, We ARE the traffic!â€™) and accompanied by a sound system playing reggae, the cyclists started riding with a peaceful and happy atmosphere. After about one and a half hours joyful riding the police finally decided to join us. One police car followed for about half an hour before they got supported by two other cars and a motorbike and stopped the ride for â€˜obstructing the highwayâ€™. Unfortunately there were only 15 riders left by that time so the ride stopped for that day.
This was the last of the highways agency's consultations for phase 2 of the M1 widening in our area, phase 1 had no consultation as they claimed not to have to do one as they already own the land. Tell that to all the people who will be affected by it, we are looking into the legality of not consulting on phase 1.
The Highways Agency circus was in Kegworth this Saturday making its penultimate exhibition to sell the M1 widening project to residents. This expensive road show should not be confused with any sort of public consultation for although the word is used in their literature, the public have no say in the Governmentâ€™s decision to waste Â£3billion of tax payers money on increasing CO2 production in the UK.
"Everyday, all over the world, people are resisting the problem culture of the car by getting on their bikes and riding, instead of driving. Critical Mass is a celebration of the alternatives to cars, pollution, accidents and the loss of public spaces and freedoms. Not an organisation or group, but an idea or tactic, Critical Mass allows people to reclaim the streets with their bikes, just by getting together and out-numbering the cars on the road"
The highways agency took their flash (tax payers funded) pro M1 widening exhibition to Long Eaton on thursday 30th and friday 31st March.
The Nottingham no M1 widening group had a presence on both days, despite random hail storms, to give members of the public the other side of the argument. That building more roads just increases the traffic and pollution levels, and that what we need is investment in public transport.
Critical Mass Brighton has always been an extremely postive experience. However, the party got somewhat dampened last week when the police decided to break the spirit of it all by turning up with an all round bad attitude.
A small dedicated (hard core!) group of Sheffield (www.nowideningm1.org.uk) hit 3 Motor way bridges between junctions 30 and 32 of the M1 early this morning. Just letting A. certain Darling and the usual press entourage know we are just beginning our campaign of action. Watch this lane for more battles!