Dozens of protesters have staged a symbolic funeral procession across central London, ending in a die-in in Trafalgar Square to highlight the need for measures to protect cyclists.

The protest, organised by Extinction Rebellion in partnership with Stop Killing Cyclists, called on the Government to start investing £6 billion a year on cycling infrastructure.

The march, which began at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, was led by three horse-drawn funeral hearses meant to represent the deaths of cyclists caused by road accidents and pollution.

Cycling death protest
Florence Reid waves an Exinction Rebellion flag during the protest (David Mirzoeff/PA)

They were loaded up with empty coffins, with words painted on their sides including “crashes” and “pollution”.

The protest was meant to highlight unsafe road conditions for cyclists as well as the potential consequences in cities where cycling is not encouraged.

Protesters’ other demands include a reversal of fuel tax cuts and the institution of car-free villages, towns and city centres.

Marchers held placards which read “Stop killing cyclists” and “Don’t be a fossil fool”, as they walked slowly to a soundtrack of bagpipes.

Cyclist death protest
The funeral procession saw protesters march slowly towards Trafalgar Square (David Mirzoeff/PA)

Once in Trafalgar Square, they staged a “die-in” by lying on the ground in a bid to highlight the epidemic of cyclist deaths.

This was inspired by a similar historic protest in the Netherlands in the mid-1970s which led Dutch cities to become among the most cycle-friendly in the world.

According to Transport for London figures, 12 cyclists were killed and 770 were seriously injured in Greater London in 2018.