An unprecedented three Scottish party leaders will take part in the annual Pedal on Parliament in Edinburgh on Saturday to lobby for more cycling funding, with turnout expected to top last year’s 4,000 participants.
Kezia Dugdale of Scottish Labour, Willie Rennie of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Greens will join the fifth ride from The Meadows to Holyrood via George IV Bridge and the Royal Mile, which sets off at noon.
Transport minister Derek Mackay will take part for a second year. Organisers have also invited SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson.
The protest is to lobby for cycle funding to be increased to 10 per cent of the Scottish Government’s transport budget from around 2 per cent at present.
Dave Brennan, one of the organisers, said: “We think the fact so many senior politicians are attending proves that active travel [walking and cycling] is moving up the agenda and that Pedal on Parliament is making a difference.
“We expected 300 the first year we held it and 3,000 turned up.”
Mr Brennan said more money must be spent to meet the Scottish Government’s cycling targets.
He said: “Funding at the current level will not achieve the government’s vision of 10 per cent modal share of cycling by 2020.”
The event will include a one-minute silence for cyclists killed on the roads.
Mr Brennan said: “It is a reminder that we have a long way to go to make Scotland’s roads safe for all, especially vulnerable road users.”
The ride will be led by members of the Fife-based Talking Tandems club for visually impaired and sighted cyclists.