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The protest ride on Paseo de los Curas.

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The protest ride on Paseo de los Curas. Migue Fernández

Hundreds of cyclists ride through Malaga to demand more bike lanes

Transport ·

Groups that promote sustainable mobility want the use of bicycles to be part of the debate for the city's next municipal elections in May

Francisco Gutiérrez

Malaga

Monday, 27 March 2023, 10:52

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Almost 1,000 people of all ages took to their bicycles on Sunday, 26 March, for a protest ride in Malaga city from the Plaza de la Marina to El Palo, and back.

Organised by cycling association Ruedas Redonda, children and adults pedalled the 15 kilometres, enjoying the warm weather and party atmosphere. For some it was their first protest ride, which was filled with music and demonstration chants: 'the bike does not pollute, nor use petrol'.

José Luis Martín Bellido, president of Ruedas Redondas, spoke to the crowds after the ride at the Plaza de la Marina. He said he was pleased with the turnout, which he estimated at about two thousand people (a thousand according to the Local Police).

Martín Bellido was scathing of the current local government, which he said has been a setback in terms of active mobility. The city has lost kilometres of bike lanes have been lost and the previous, popular, bike rental service has also disappeared in place of a vastly more expensive one, he said.

Martín Bellido said he regretted that Malaga City Hall has not been receptive to his recommendations and has not joined the public bicycle projects that have had Next Generation funds from the European Union. "They have given up on the European funds and have preferred a private system because of the price," he said.

The cycling association president also lambasted the new 30-kilometre-per-hour lanes included in the latest mobility ordinance, as a "scam". "They promised to control the speed, but the radars that were purchased for that purpose have not been put into service. Painting the number 30 on the ground does not protect us," he said.

The PSOE spokesman and candidate for mayor in the next municipal elections, Daniel Pérez, was one of the participants in the protest. He said that the municipal government "does not believe in the bicycle" and vowed that he would push for a cultural change that is bike-friendly.

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