BBC News

Thousands take part in Pedal on Parliament event in Edinburgh

image copyrightChris Hill
image captionThe cyclists set off from the Meadows and travelled down the Royal Mile to Holyrood

Thousands of cyclists have taken to the streets of Edinburgh to call for Scotland's roads to be made safer.

The Pedal on Parliament campaign wants improved funding and better infrastructure.

Families with small children were joined by politicians and marchers for the mass bike ride from the Meadows down the Royal Mile.

On Friday, Transport Minister Keith Brown announced £4.5m for cycling education projects.

Outside the Scottish Parliament, a number of speeches were made. Kyle Thomas, 11, said: "I believe cycling is the future for Scotland.

"Cycling down the high street I thought to myself that this is how cycling should be, there wasn't a single car on the road but lots of cyclists, as it should be."

Families of cyclists killed in recent years also took part in the event, the third of its kind.

image copyrightother
image captionThe campaigners want Scotland's roads to be made safer for cyclists of all ages

Lynne McNicoll, stepmother of Andrew McNicoll, who died in 2012, said: "I was at the first Pedal On Parliament and to see so many more people attending today is just fantastic.

"The children have said it all for us - but I'm here because I don't want anyone else to feel the way we feel every day since Andrew was killed on his bike."

She urged everyone who attended to talk to their MSPs and get their support.

Transport Minister Mr Brown, who joined the campaigners, said: "We have to educate our children if we're to make the network safe for children and their parents.

"We're unapologetic about investing in education but it's not the only thing to be done - we're investing in safer routes to schools."

image copyrightother
image captionChildren were among those who made speeches at the event

The Pedal on Parliament group has an eight-point manifesto asking for cycling to be integrated into local transport strategies and improved road traffic law and enforcement.

Organiser David Brennan said: "It's been a lot of work putting this all together but it will be worth it if my kids can have the freedom to ride their bikes growing up.

"We'd like to see organisations across Scotland and the government working together to create a proper road map for safer cycling and walking - not just a vague vision or an educational initiative to teach children how to ride in traffic.

"In this year that Scotland decides its future, whatever the outcome of September's vote, we know we can build a future for cycling in this country for our children and our children's children."

Related Topics

  • Scottish government
  • Cycling
  • Edinburgh

More on this story

  • Campaigners say justice system is 'failing to protect cyclists'