More investment for cyclists and walkers is the rallying call

Pedal for Parliament saw thousands of cyclist and walkers converge on The Meadows in Edinburgh
Pedal for Parliament saw thousands of cyclist and walkers converge on The Meadows in Edinburgh

Campaigners are set to mass march and bike ride on Scotland’s Parliament to call for greater investment in walking and cycling and safer conditions on Scotland’s roads.

Saturday, April 23 will once more see thousands of people gather in Edinburgh to ride and march through the heart of Edinburgh to Holyrood.

In the run-up to the Scottish Government elections, the demonstration is part of a wider umbrella campaign to keep walking and cycling high on the political agenda for May 5.

Pedal on Parliament has joined forces with umbrella campaign ‘We Walk, We Cycle, We Vote’ to press for 10 per cent of the transport budget to be invested in active travel, in line with the recommendations by public health experts across the UK.

Transport Minister Derek McKay announced increased spending for walking and cycling at last year’s Pedal on

Parliament, but it still only amounts to 1.8 per cent of the transport budget - and the latest draft budget has actually cut money for active travel.

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 for Scotland has an eight-point manifesto it is calling for: Proper funding for cycling (5% of the transport budget and 10% for 
active travel overall); Design cycling into Scotland’s roads; Slower speeds where people live, work and play; Integrate 
cycling into local transport strategies; Improved road traffic law and enforcement; Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians; A strategic and joined-up 
programme of road user 
training; And improved 
statistics supporting decision-
making and policy.