Protesters from across Shropshire today gathered in Shrewsbury to line part of the route of the planned North West Relief Road.
Better Shrewsbury Transport (BeST) held the protest at Shelton Rough as part of a national day of action against the government’s plans to build £24.7b worth of new roads.
Around 100 people gathered with signs, banners and placards to highlight their opposition to the road.
Protesters say that the 48,000 tonnes of CO2 created by building the North West Relief Road is incompatible with the climate emergency and call on the government to withdraw funding for it.
The national action was being led by Roads Rebellion, an off-shoot of Extinction Rebellion.
Mike Streetly, spokesperson for BeST, says: “We are protesting because we know that we cannot continue building unnecessary new roads in a climate emergency. The carbon footprint and ecological destruction caused by the North West Relief Road cannot be justified. Pushing ahead with this road will be a disaster for our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and beyond. The choices we make today are going to have huge implications for our future well-being.
“We want the government and the Department for Transport to stop ignoring the Paris Agreement climate goals and start building a cleaner, greener future for us all. We’re calling on the Prime Minister to take the lead on reducing journeys made by car and to support local authorities, by providing political backing and money for greener means of transport.
“We need to end car dependency and end the historical underfunding of public transport and active travel. In line with the UN recommendation of 2016, 20% of the transport budget should be spent on Active Travel. At a time when the Prime Minister is warning about the collapse of civilisation unless we slash our emissions, the Department for Transport cannot justify the £54m grant for the North West Road.”
Roads Rebellion have written an open letter to the government calling for them to pause and review their transport policy and asking them to redirect funding to cleaner forms of transport instead.