Ban bikes and scooters on Moscow's Red Square, says guard service

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: A man rides a bicycle along empty Red Square amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin guard service wants Russians banned from riding bicycles, scooters and rollerskates on Red Square and a nearby park, a draft order on a government website showed.

The order drawn up by the Federal Protection Service that handles security for the Kremlin and high-ranking officials like President Vladimir Putin said that the restrictions would help improve people's safety.

Electric scooters have surged in popularity in recent years in the city of more than 12.5 million and officials have imposed speed limits after a string of accidents.

The use of bicycles has also become more popular and Moscow authorities have set up cycling lanes in parts of the city in recent years.

Though it is done discretely, Moscow's Red Square, which lies in the heart of the capital, is strictly policed. Opposition protests and performance art stunts are rapidly shut down and those involved detained.

That has not always deterred people. In June, a dissident artist simulated his suicide on Red Square in a political protest. In 2013, a performance artist nailed his scrotum to Red Square in a protest against the state.

The proposed ban, which still needs to be assessed and approved by authorities, would also cover Alexander Gardens, a park that runs along the Kremlin's walls and contains one of Russia's main World War Two memorials.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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