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Date posted: 31 March 2016
On Tuesday 25 April, a group of cyclists will leave St John’s, Waterloo, heading for the Ffos-y-Fran coal mine in Wales – the largest opencast coal mine in the country – to call for the end of coal in the UK.
The UK plans to end coal burning for electricity by 2025. Time to Cycle and Operation Noah say this is not soon enough and that all UK coal needs to stay in the ground so that it is not exported to other countries to burn.
Hillary Vipond from Time to Cycle said, ‘We formed Time to Cycle to travel to Paris for COP21 last year. Our aim is to create an environment in which our rides are accessible to all ages and all backgrounds, not just to mega-cyclists! We only do 40-50 miles per day and eat together, connecting, where we can, with local community organisations that recycle food or share our values. During our ride to Paris we grew in friendship and solidarity and were uplifted by sharing stories and hopes for a better and more sustainable world. We were welcomed at every stage of the journey, by churches, school children and even the Mayor of Dieppe.’
‘This year we wanted to join the call to escalate climate justice actions in the wake of the Paris climate talks and to support the local community in Merthyr who have fought for years to against this mine. We believe that the mine must be shut down, and in its place we want to see the renewable energy projects and green jobs which are the real hope for the future.’
Over the course of five days Time to Cycle volunteers will ride from London to Merthyr Tydfil in Wales, stopping en route in Reading, Devizes, Bristol, and Cardiff, connecting with local communities and raising their voices to support Wales in being part of the solution to climate change.
Once in Wales the group will join the Reclaim the Power mass action camp, End Coal Now, which will run from Saturday 30 April to Wednesday 4 May near Merthyr Tydfil. It’s part of the Groundswell year of action and international mobilisations taking on the fossil fuel industry, and there will be a mass mobilisation over the weekend to shut down the mine.
St John’s Waterloo, where Operation Noah board member Giles Goddard is vicar, will be putting up the cyclists the night before they leave London. Giles said, ‘We are proud to serve and support those, of all faiths and none, who are doing the work of the kingdom in creatively attempting to wake up the world to the crisis we are in.’