Sunday April 28th 2019
Written by Laura Cockram
A posse of mini cycling super-heroes and their families took to the roads in Dalkeith on Saturday to remind Midlothian Council that you shouldn’t need superpowers to cycle on our streets.
75 local residents came along to the Pedal on Parliament event which sought to highlight that many people want to cycle to school and to work in Midlothian, and would if it were safer and easier.
Cycling in Midlothian can feel like it requires superhuman effort – lack of safe cycling routes is a major barrier to cycling being an everyday activity. But cycling should be for everyone. We know the benefits can be significant – both to individuals and communities.
Lots of the youngest cyclists were excited to be allowed to ride on the road and their mums and dads happy that they could do so in safety.
Ride leader, Alan Brown, said:
“Today it was great to see cyclists of all ages enjoying a ride on local roads. But at the moment that can only happen at an organised event like this.
Organiser Laura Cockram, a local resident, added:
“We want to be able to cycle safely in Midlothian every day. To school, to work, to the shops and between our villages. For our environment and for our health and communities.”
Michaela Jackson of Gorebridge Development Trust said:
“We need the Council to take active travel seriously. We are asking Midlothian Council to spend 10% of the transport budget on active travel and to play their part designing cycling for all ages and abilities into Scotland’s roads.”
Lots of people who attended today will now be contacting their Councillors and MSPs.
Ride Leader, Alan Brown, recorded this message:
This event was part of a full weekend of cycling action co-ordinated by Pedal on Parliament (PoP), who are campaigning to make Scotland a cycle-friendly country. On Friday 26th, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of this weekend “Pop-up PoPs” happened all over Scotland, with dozens of protests highlighting the barriers to safe cycling that people find in their own area.
Pedal on Parliament, who traditionally hold an annual mass ride to protest the need for better cycling provision, are focusing on local protests this year, aimed at improvements that could be made by local councils. Events happened as far and wide as Inverness, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Aberdeen and Dundee.
PoP is calling on Scotland’s politicians, of all parties, to sign up to the following eight point manifesto in order to make cycling a realistic choice for everyone, from ages eight to 80 – and to show the rest of the UK that cycling doesn’t just belong on continental Europe, but also in the country where it all began:
1) Proper funding for cycling – 10% of the transport budget nationally and locally.
2) Design cycling for all ages and abilities into Scotland’s roads.
3) Safer speeds where people live, work and play
4) Integrate cycling into local transport strategies
5) Sensible road traffic law and enforcement
6) Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians
7) A strategic and joined-up programme of road user training
8) Solid research on cycling to support policy-making