Thousands Pedal on Parliament in Scotland

CTC's Ian Richardson chats to former world champion cyclist Graeme Obree
Around 4,000 cyclists gathered in Edinburgh on Sunday 19 May and rode to Holyrood to deliver an 8-point manifesto calling for more investment in cycling, slower speeds, and better facilities for cyclists on Scotland’s roads. Peter Hayman, CTC councillor for Scotland, pedalled with them...

"Some dampness and lack of sun", Peter says, "didn't stop an impressive turn out for the Pedal on Parliament (PoP) in Scotland yesterday.

"Last year, PoP was a new and exciting challenge to the Government, and I was up near the front of the action. This year, nearer the back, I saw a striking number of families with young children and what looked like novice cyclists who wanted to join in.

Supporters stretched back further than could be seen at the gathering point, the Meadows in Edinburgh.

Peter Hayman
CTC Councillor for Scotland

"At Holyrood, even more people seemed to be coming along, all wanting Scotland to be a cycling country.

"Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, who greeted the ride at Holyrood, reiterated the Scottish Government's commitment to 10% of journeys by bike by 2020.

"This was welcome, but the Scottish Government is planning to spend £3bn on upgrading the A96 between Aberdeen and Inverness, so that a few more motorists can go a bit faster, on top of the £3bn already planned for the A9 from Perth to Aberdeen."

"The sight of PoP this year brought with it a sense of déjà vu for me. PoP 2012 certainly had an impact on MSPs - Sustrans got a fresh lump of money - but we are still waiting for the review of the Cycling Action Plan for Scotland (CAPS) and the serious commitment and funding we need to make the real difference that so many people in Scotland obviously want to see."

The presence of the families of cyclists Andrew McNicoll and Audrey Fyfe, both killed on Edinburgh’s roads in recent years, made the 2013 ride especially poignant. CTC is urging supporters to write to the Lord Advocate calling for an appeal against the lenient sentence handed down to Gary McCourt whose bad driving led to Mrs Fyfe's death in 2011.