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Cyclists to ride in protest at air pollution of Heathrow's third runway

Family friendly ride will highlight safety concerns of more air pollution in west London

Cyclists with a keen interest in the environment will be taking part in a Critical Mass ride on September 17th to protest a third runway at Heathrow.

The organisers say that ‘enough is enough’ of ‘the daily reality of roaring planes and lethal levels of air pollution’ in the shadow of the flightpath in west London, and that another runway could cause the same climate impacts as the entire country of Kenya.

The family-friendly ride will run between Chiswick and Heathrow, gathering in Chiswick Common (nearest tube station: Turnham Green) from 11am on 17 September to hear speeches by local residents and campaigners before setting off along Chiswick High Road at 12.

The journey takes around an hour at a gentle pace and there will be mechanics on hand for any bike problems.

Accompanied by a float and music to keep the pedal power pumping, the atmosphere is described as intending to be fun and carnivalesque. Protesters are encouraged to wear props to highlight the issues at play including gas masks and ear muffs.

One road.cc reader and organiser, Maggie Zenwa, told us: ”Clean air is of major importance to everyone. Communities under Heathrow's flightpath have suffered noise and air pollution for years. Many have lived in isolation with their concerns over the proposed Heathrow expansion.

“This event is to unite the community under one big voice. It serves to engage, empower, galvanise and mobilise the community to take action in standing up for their rights.  It will also serve to raise awareness of our local environment."

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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