Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Cyclists' join 'pedal on parliament' demo in Edinburgh

Pedal on Parliament Image copyright Chris Hill
Image caption Organisers say the popularity of the event means it has been successful in putting active travel on the political agenda

Thousands of cyclists have taken part in mass bike rides in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Pedal on Parliament was billed as Scotland's largest demonstration for safer streets.

A number of politicians joined the cycle through the heart of the capital, from the Meadows to Holyrood.

A similar satellite event was held simultaneously in Aberdeen, where cyclists rode from Hazlehead Park to Marischal College.

Image copyright Chris Hill
Image copyright Chris Hill

Since its inception five years ago, organisers claim it has been successful in putting active travel on the political agenda.

Ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections, Pedal on Parliament has now joined calls to press for 10% of the transport budget to be invested in active travel.

Image copyright Chris Hill
Image copyright Chris Hill

Organiser Sally Hinchcliffe said: "This election is about the sort of Scotland we want to live in.

"With obesity rising, pollution choking our cities and increasingly destructive storms battering our shores, it's clear that we cannot continue simply building more roads and increasing our car dependency.

"Our politicians need to choose a different path and follow countries like Denmark and the Netherlands in creating people-friendly towns and cities where everyone can walk or cycle if they want to, something that will benefit us all.

"Pedal on Parliament's manifesto offers a clear path towards that end and we encourage politicians of all parties to adopt its aims."

The Edinburgh event was led by a tandem club which pairs visually-impaired stokers with sighted captains.

Having ridden a round trip of 40 miles to attend the event, The Fife Talking Tandems cycling club left the Meadows at noon.

Image copyright Chris Hill
Image copyright Chris Hill

Mike Young, secretary of the Talking Tandems, said: "Our presence on Saturday amongst so many other likeminded people will demonstrate that visually impaired cyclists - and those who suffer from other disabilities - love getting out on their bikes for all the reasons that sighted and able bodied cyclists do.

"But like them, we need a safe environment in which to cycle, and sometimes this requires different approaches and additional investment."

Mies Knottenbelt, of Lothians cycle campaign group Spokes, said: "Many different kinds of cyclists come together to make it known that cyclists need some space on the roads to be able to cycle safely.

"There are lots of kids here and lots of parents who feel strongly that unless we make the roads a bit safer we can't cycle."

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