Saturday 19 January 2013

Pedal On Parliament 2

In April last year we had Pedal on Parliament (POP). POP was undoubtedly the biggest and friendliest cycling demonstration that Scotland's parliament had ever seen. 3000+ cyclists turned up of all shapes and sizes, some on fancy road bikes, some on wooden balance bikes.

There was one common purpose....

Make Scotland a cycle friendly nation.

There can be no doubt the politicians listened. As well as meeting with us, setting up a Cross Party Cycling Group, and promising some more funding for cycling, I have heard from those who work there that those in power were impressed with the impact of POP.

They weren't impressed with the organisers, with our social media campaign, with the posters (mind you they were good!), or with our celebrity supporters (although I was!). They were impressed with you.

They were impressed that you turned up, and that you turned up in such numbers.

Yet, although they were impressed, and they have certainly said the right things, they haven't followed up with their actions. We and many other groups have asked for 5% of the transport budget to be spent on cycling (10% if we include all active travel). Why, not because it is a nice round number, but because research has shown that if we are to reach the governments own target of 10% of cycling by 2020, with all the significant benefits that would come with that, that we would need that 5% and we would need it now.

So what do we actually have? All the grand announcements from the government of increased spending on cycling amount to 1.01% of transport funding on cycling for 2013/14.

It's not enough.

So what can we do about it? We need more pressure on our politicians.We have to make more noise. More polite noise. We need to have Pedal on Parliament 2.

So once again we, the core organisers of POP need your help. We need you to come and we need you to bring your friends and families along to.

Let's make it clear and indisputable that the time to make Scotland a cycle friendly nation is now.

So look here for details, follow @POPScotland on twitter, use the tag #POP2 join our Facebook group, spread the word and turn up in Edinburgh on the 18th May with or without your bike.

With your help 2013 could be the year that Scotland embraced cycling.

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