A new campaign to put active travel on the agenda kicked off in the streets - and cycle paths - of Glasgow on Sunday (11 October). We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote is challenging delegates of the political party conferences to get on their bikes and experience the best and the worst that Scotland's cycling infrastructure has to offer.
The umbrella campaign - which is supported by a range of cycling and other active travel organisations, with funding from CTC, the national cycling charity - is asking Scottish politicians to sign up to three pledges on investment in active travel, better infrastructure and safer roads. It will hold rides at the other party conferences around Scotland in the weeks ahead.
Having more people cycling and walking more often - especially for everyday short journeys - will help solve so many of the problems Scots face today."
Suzanne Forup, CTC assistant head of development
CTC's Suzanne Forup said "Having more people cycling and walking more often - especially for everyday short journeys - will help solve so many of the problems Scots face today, from inequality and poor health to pollution and congestion, benefiting everyone."
"There is remarkable consensus about what it will take to make this happen: sustained investment in the sort of infrastructure that makes walking and cycling the obvious choice for everyone, not just the fit and the brave, and safer conditions on our streets and roads. And yet, there doesn't seem to be the political consensus to achieve this. The next Holyrood elections offer us the chance to make Scotland a healthier, wealthier and happier country. We want to encourage all parties to sieze that opportunity."
Ride organiser Lizzie Reather said "During these rides we'll see some of the convenient, direct and attractive conditions that can be achieved by clear design principles and engagement with users. We'll also see where gaps in provision, lack of priority for cycling and walking, and barriers caused by busy roads can stymie our hopes of a cycling network fit for 8 to 80 year olds. Small, short term pockets of funding won't close the gap to our healthier and more sustainable neighbours in Europe, and our design standards are outdated. We're calling on local councils and the Scottish government to work together to make Scotland a truly cycle and walking friendly nation."
Everyone is welcome to take part in the conferences bike rides, for a chance to show conference delegates the sort of barriers - and opportunities - there are for active travel in Scotland.
Details of the party conferences bike rides:
SNP Conference Cycle Ride
Aberdeen Exhibition Centre (AECC) in Aberdeen