Tyne Bridge climate change protest sees cyclists stage go-slow

More than 100 people took part in an Extinction Rebellion protest which saw them hold a bicycle go-slow over the Tyne Bridge.

Riders set off from Newcastle’s Central Station and rode slowly through the city centre before crossing over to Gateshead where they handed in a set of environmental demands to the local council.

Cyclists who have staged a go slow through Tyneside
Cyclists who have staged a go slow through Tyneside

The protest was monitored by police who said there was minimal disruption to the morning traffic, and no arrests were made.

Protest spokesman Dr Richard Johnston said around 70 cyclists took part, with more including walkers, supporting the go-slow.

He said while Newcastle City Council has accepted there is a climate emergency, counterparts across the Tyne have not yet, so that is why the group delivered their demands to the Gateshead Civic Centre.

He said: “We are sorry for causing inconvenience, that is absolutely not the intention of the organisation, but this is a climate emergency and the science says we need to act now, we do not have a choice.”

Cyclists protesting on the Tyne Bridge
Cyclists protesting on the Tyne Bridge

The spokesman said the peaceful protest, which was organised with Northumbria Police’s authority, received “widespread support” from city centre drivers.

The police said riders did not stop on the Tyne Bridge and traffic flow was not dramatically different from a normal rush hour.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “We have a duty to appropriately and proportionately police protests, and we respect the rights of people to hold such events.

“Ensuring the safety of the public is our utmost priority, and the force has extensive experience of policing such events.

“We always look to work closely with the organisers to ensure any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum, as well as offer reassurance to members of the public.”