Doctors organise mass bike ride on Westside to demand cleaner air

Up to 1,000 cyclists will be taking part in a special bike ride on Westside next month to demand cleaner air to improve the health of children.

The ‘Ride For Their Lives’ event has been organised by doctors and other health professionals attending the annual conference of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at the ICC from 25 to 27 March.

The bike ride comes a day before the conference on Sunday 24 March, with cyslists assembling along Grosvenor Street West from 2pm and the bike ride then starting at 2.30pm.

Dr Heather Lambert is a paediatrician who co-leads the ‘Ride For Their Lives’ group of doctors and other health professionals who campaign for cleaner air for children to breathe, particularly in UK cities.

She said: “Many of our children live in poor circumstances in an environment that creates a lifelong trajectory of poor health. They are denied the basic human rights of being able to be physically active and to breath clean air. This needs to change.

“We will mark our Conference and their demand for child health to improve with communities, sports and biking clubs getting on their bikes in and around our city on Sunday 24 March.

“This short cycle ride on the day before our conference will draw attention to the damaging effects of air pollution on health and call for improvement. We are expecting between 500 and 1000 riders including quite a few children on this short family ride lasting about half an hour.”

Cyclists on the ride will start from Grosvenor Street West and will then ride a short loop through Westside led by children. They will turn right down Ryland Street, then right along Morville Street, then into Browning Street, moving along St Vincents Street and up Cambridge Street to Centenary Square, where the ride will finish at 3pm.

There will then be a brief address from Camilla Kingdon, the President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

For safety reasons, the bike ride means road closures and the suspension of parking bays on the above route on 24 March.

Dr Lambert added: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused but hope local residents will appreciate that the goal is to make our city better for all our children and grandchildren. Please do feel free to join the ride with a bike if you have one!”

Local doctor and health and fitness campaigner Ewan Hamnett will also be organising led bike rides of two to three hours on the morning of Sunday 24 March. Contact Ewan at ewanhamnett@doctors.org.uk for more information about the rides on 24 March.

And more details about the ‘Ride For Their Lives’ group can be found at https://ridefortheirlives.net/.

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