CONCERNED residents took the streets in the early hours in an attempt to highlight to council chiefs that road improvements can be made without large expenditure.

Members of the Extinction Rebellion BCP group went out on Sunday morning to create a "pop-up" cycle lane on the East Avenue roundabout in Bournemouth.

Armed with chalk spray and stencils and maintaining physical distance they marked the road with a series of brightly coloured bicycles.

Extinction Rebellion BCP said the action was designed to demonstrate to BCP Council that it is not necessary to spend millions on high cost engineering works to improve our streets.

Government has given local authorities powers to take immediate action to lower speed limits and install temporary, low-cost infrastructure, such as "pop-up" cycle lanes.

Councils have been told to reallocate road space for walking and cycling "as swiftly as possible" in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The action in Bournemouth was part of a nationwide campaign calling on the government to prioritise public health and well-being as the UK lockdown is eased and to invest in safer streets for walking and cycling.

Caspar Hughes, 48, of Stop Killing Cyclists said: “Spending £27bn on a road building program during the dual climate and coronavirus crisis, is suicidal.

"A simple way to reduce transport emissions is to make cycling convenient and safe. Seventy per cent of all journeys are less than five miles in the age of e-bikes virtually everyone can cycle such a distance.”

Councillor Andy Hadley, BCP Council cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: “It’s been great to see so many people take to cycling and walking. We’ve received a lot of positive ideas from residents on what they would like to see put in place.

“We are currently looking at opportunities for pop up cycle lanes as well as creating more pedestrianised space that could be deployed quickly but safely. This would be in addition to the measures we’re already taking to support bus passengers and the work underway at key locations to create more space for people to physical distance.

“The future will see a significant expansion of support for active travel through the £79million successful Transforming Cites Fund Programme, which creates strategic active travel schemes across the area over the next three years.

“It’s important for the establishment of any new cycle lane to be properly designed, taking into account cyclist positioning, visibility and appropriate signage to ensure the safety of all road users.’’