Birmingham Friends of the Earth campaigners have marked In Town Without My Car Day with a Bike Blockade. BFoE Campaigners dressed in gas masks constructed a blockade out of bikes to celebrate the day.

As Birmingham Friends of the Earth we have long campaigned for more sustainable transport in Birmingham, and have often used In Town Without My Car Day to promote more sustainable ways of getting around our city. This year, with our Let’s Get Moving campaign in full swing, we decided to use a photo stunt to raise a little awareness of sustainable transport and our campaign.

As Let’s Get Moving is about reducing air pollution from traffic, and encouraging more cycling and walking through better investment in active transport, we decided that using bikes to blockade a car would be hugely symbolic thing to do. 

We’re not saying people shouldn’t own cars or shouldn’t drive, there are occasions when they can be very useful. However with 20% of UK journeys under 2 miles, the bike can be a fantastic alternative to the car for In Town Without My Car Day or any day of the year.

This is also fits with the theme of European Mobility Week this year, which aims to raise awareness of the impact of transport on poor air quality under the title “Clean Air It’s Your Move!” With up to 50,000 people dying prematurely in the UK due to poor air quality, and over 350 so far this year in Birmingham alone, it’s a problem that needs to be tackled never mind known about.

We hope many Brumies will take the opportunity to try alternatives to the car during European Mobility Week this year, and start to make a small difference to Birmingham’s shocking air quality!