Thousands turn out for Scotland’s Pedal on Parliament

Thousands of people on bikes turned out for today’s Pedal on Parliament in Edinburgh. Another ride is taking place in Glasgow tomorrow, where the Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf will speak. 

Some on Twitter have said up to 10,000 riders took part although the event organisers have downplayed this estimate, adding that police said that there were more riders this year than last.

There were also rides in Aberdeen and Inverness. This was the sixth annual Pedal on Parliament.

Led out by the Talking Tandems, whose riders don’t let visual impairment keep them off two wheels, the protest ride took in the Royal Mile before finishing outside the Scottish parliament. 

 Speaking at Holyrood, Alison Johnson for the Greens said: “If we invest properly in cycling we can cut congestion, and air pollution and tackle obesity and children can cycle to school. If you look at what happens in the Netherlands children have independence – and where people can cycle easily it benefits those on low incomes the most.

For the Liberal Democrats, Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “It is so important to have people here at parliament and council offices across the country. This should be a cross party issue, for Scotland in 2017 is still the sick man of Europe and we have to change that."

SNP councillor Adam McVey agreed: "I’m proud of what has been delivered in Edinburgh with the massive expansion in 20 mph limits, so that streets aren’t seen as just a ‘car paradise’ but a place where everyone feels safe. The SNP have committed to supporting the EW cycleway that will transform the west end of Edinburgh and will continue investing 10 percent of the transport budget in projects that will make a real difference."

Labour’s Daniel Johnson said: “We have to reclaim streets for people and not for cars. We give up way too much space to empty cars and should start to give over some of that space to cycle lanes, to people. It is good that the Scottish government has committed to 10 percent of journeys by bike but we need the investment to back that up, so that people can cycle.”

Gordon Lindhurst of the Conservatives said: “Long before I was a politician I was a cyclist, getting on a bike from before I can even remember. Keep going, keep cycling and we will get there.”

Organiser David Brennan concluded the event: "I want my children to grow up in a truly cycle-friendly Scotland."

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