Following the deaths of two cyclists in Edinburgh since the beginning of 2012, a campaign group has sprung up to encourage safer cycling.
Pedal on Parliament invites cyclists, walkers, skateboarders, roller-skaters and anyone else who enjoys or who wants to enjoy active travel to join them on the streets of Edinburgh on Saturday 28 April 2012 to take their manifesto to the Scottish Parliament. They will be gathering at the Meadows in Edinburgh from 1pm for a 2pm start on a short journey to Holyrood, in an effort to highlight the need for safer streets to make cycling an activity for everyone.
This is a light-hearted ride with a serious purpose. Two cyclists have been killed in Edinburgh since the start of the year, proving the need to make cycling – and any form of active travel – safer for all. Making Scotland a place where everyone feels safe to get on two wheels could transform its cities and villages and the lives of the people who live in them.
Pedal on Parliament is a grass-roots event that aims to demonstrate to national and local government that the time has come to make cycling and other forms of active travel safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Their message is detailed in a manifesto which can be read in full below. The group say:-“It is a realistic road map that will take Scotland to, and beyond, its target of 10% of journeys to be made by bike, by 2020. It contains eight pledges that we would like local and national politicians to sign up to, irrespective of party:
1 Proper funding for cycling.
2 Design cycling into Scotland’s roads.
3 Safer speeds where people live, work and play.
4 Integrate cycling into local transport strategies.
5 Sensible road traffic law and enforcement.
6 Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians.
7 A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training.
8 Solid research on cycling to support policy-making.
The Scottish Government has already made a good start in encouraging active travel. It led the world in signing up to a low-carbon future, part of which will include much higher levels of cycling. The Cycling Action Plan for Scotland set the target of having 10% of all journeys in Scotland made by bike by 2020.
We support much of what is in the CAPS but it has been seriously under-funded and even that funding is under threat. On its own the recommendations in CAPS are not enough to raise the share of cycling to the levels envisaged. The history of UK cycling policy is full of cycling strategies which have been quietly shelved when it becomes clear that their targets are not going to be met. We hope the Scottish government will not join the Westminster in this hall of shame.”
David Brennan, who came up with the original idea for Pedal on Parliament said:- “With Westminster now engaging in discussions about the future of cycling and active travel, and the recent cyclist deaths in Scotland, I realised that for real change to occur in Scotland it is our politicians in Holyrood and our local councils that we need to engage with. Thus the idea for Pedal on Parliament was born. When I publicised my idea for the event online I had a huge positive response from other cyclists, so with the help of a dedicated group of cycle campaigners we are planning for a day of protest on the 28th of April. ”
Mr Chris Oliver, Chairman of Cycling Touring Club (CTC) Scotland strongly supports the ride and said:- “From Kirkpatrick MacMillan onwards, Scotland has a long history of popular cycling which has been all but forgotten. We call on everyone, young and old, fast and slow, whether they already cycle or just wish they could to from right across Scotland to come along to Pedal on Parliament to put pressure on Scotland’s politicians to sign up to the manifesto and show the rest of the UK that cycling doesn’t just belong on continental Europe, it also belongs to the country where it first began.”