Scottish cyclists urged to join campaign for safer roads

Graeme Obree set to join second Pedal on Parliament rally ride

A grassroots campaign group hope to mobilise thousands of passionate cyclists to demand more money and resources be spent on cycling infrastructure and safety in Scotland.

On Sunday 19 May, cyclists from around the country are set to join the second Pedal on Parliament (POP) rally in Edinburgh, to demand politicians give cycling a bigger slice of the transport budget for extra measures to make roads safer. Examples include 20mph speed limits and action on lorry danger.

Greame Obree, a retired pro who held the world hour record, will attend the rally. The group have also secured support from Scotland’s most famous Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy.   

Last year, 3,000 people joined Pedal on Parliament’s first ride, campaign organiser Sally Hinchcliffe told BikeRadar: “Last time we were thrown completely because I think we had a Facebook group and 200 people signed up and 3,000 people came. [This year] it feels like there’s a lot of momentum just seeing all the feeder rides that are being planned, but a lot will depend on the weather.” 

The organisation have developed an eight point manifesto, which they say will help the country achieve the national aim to have 10 percent of all journeys made by bike by 2020.

Hinchcliffe said there had been “warm words” from politicians but little meaningful action to improve conditions for Scottish cyclists in the year since the first rally. “What we’ve had is really warm words. We had the first minister [Alex Salmond] saying you’re pushing on an open door,” she said.  

Pedal on Parliament’s manifesto includes increasing cycling investment to £25 per head a year, incorporating cycle lanes into new road planning, and encouraging better research to help politicians make decisions that favour cyclists.

Hinchcliffe said that the Get Britain Cycling report unveiled at Westminster in April had resonated in Scotland too, but that many of the recommendations wouldn’t apply north of the border because transport is a devolved issue.

She also criticised the Scottish government’s current Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS): “Scotland’s got the Cycling Action Plan, which is nothing like a plan really. Something like the Get Britain Cycling report is much more the sort of thing that would have achieved the 10 percent [of journeys made by bike] that Scotland is supposedly going for.”

The POP ride will meet at the Meadows between 2-3pm before riding down the Royal Mile to the Parliament Buildings. For more information visit pedalonparliament.org.

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