Pedal on Parliament: Just a ‘wee protest’ then?

Following the success of last year’s cycling safety event the date for this year’s is being announced at lunchtime today outside The Scottish Parliament.

On Sunday 19 May this year cyclists young and old will once again be invited to cycle through the streets of Edinburgh to Holyrood to urge the Scottish Government to make Scotland a cycle-friendly nation.

Pedal on Parliament, the grass-roots organisation which brought thousands of cyclists onto the streets of Edinburgh in April last year, are announcing this date for a second mass demonstration in support of their call for safer cycling conditions in Scotland. ‘POP2’ will start from the Meadows in Edinburgh at 3pm on Saturday 18 May 2013 and end at the Parliament building, where politicians will be presented with an eight-point manifesto that the organisers believe will help make Scotland’s towns, cities and villages fit for cyclists from 8 to 80.

The organisers say:- “This will be a light-hearted ride, but with a serious purpose. The most recent road safety figures for Scotland show that the numbers of cyclists and pedestrians killed and seriously injured has actually risen. Experts have warned that the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists killed or seriously injured on Scotland’s roads are set to exceed those in cars within a few years.

The Olympics and the success of Scottish cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Paralympians Aileen McGlynn, Karen Darke and Neil Fachie created a huge interest in cycling last year, with thousands more Scots taking to two wheels – but they will quickly give up if the conditions they encounter on the roads aren’t safe and inviting, and that will require real investment. The Scottish government has a target of 10% of all journeys to be taken by bike by 2020, yet despite some high profile announcements of investment in cycling in the wake of the last Pedal on Parliament, it still spends barely 1% of the transport budget on cycling.”

One of the organisers of POP2, Dr. David Brennan, said:- “After the first Pedal on Parliament last year, Scotland’s First Minster Alex Salmond said we were ‘pushing on an open door’. Yet, although they have listened to our arguments, we’re still not seeing any real change, as the recent budget announcements have shown. Spending for cycling has stopped falling, but it’s nowhere near the levels we need to make the roads safe for my young family to cycle on – and that’s the sort of change we need to see.”

Lynne McNicoll whose step-son was unfortunately killed whilst cycling to work last year and who set up the charity, Andrew Cyclist, said:- “Ian and I remain committed to working with others to make cycling in Scotland safer for all abilities and we strongly support the aims of the Pedal on Parliament team and will work with them to help achieve their aims. We are delighted to support Pedal on Parliament Scotland 2013. The turnout at POP in 2012 was incredible and we hope that the turnout at this year’s event will be even higher. We will be there!”

Pedal on Parliament urges anyone who cycles in Scotland, or who would like to cycle in Scotland but doesn’t feel safe to join them for POP2 and maintain the pressure on the Scottish Government to put cycling at the heart of its transport policy. Together we can make Scotland a cycle-friendly nation.

Photo of Ian McNicoll and Mark Beaumont leading out the cyclists at Pedal on Parliament 2012 courtesy of Richard Cross 

Pedal on Parliament will take place on Sunday 19 May 2013, a change from the original date following safety discussions with the police and the council.