Pedal on Parliament: Thousands take to two wheels for annual event

They came on bikes of all colours and styles and took to the capital’s streets for this year’s Pedal on Parliament event.

Thousands of cyclists descended on Holyrood on Saturday to demand politicians make it a cycle-friendly country.

Protesters cycled and marched through Edinburgh’s streets before making their way to the Scottish Parliament as they called for increased funding for active travel, better bike infrastructure, and lower speed limits near homes, workplaces and play areas.

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The Pedal on Parliament campaign is now in its 10th year. Sally Hinchcliffe, a founding member, said: “There are far too many roads and junctions that the average person just wouldn’t dream of cycling on.

It's not one of Edinburgh Zoo's pandas, but this giant soft toy was taking it easy Pic: John Devlin

“Compared to other countries, we have a long way to go. It isn’t only the Netherlands that is cycle-friendly. We are seeing countries across the world investing in greater cycle infrastructure, in both urban and rural areas.”

Alex Robertson, main organiser of this year’s event, said it was important to send a message to politicians ahead of the local elections on May 5.

“I ride with my kids and I want to feel safe with them cycling with me and for them to have the freedom to access our wonderful city when they’re able to cycle independently,” he said.

Lorraine McIntosh, of Infrasisters, which campaigns for safe infrastructure, said 90 per cent of women surveyed had either experienced or feared being assaulted or threatened. “We’re asking for separate road space that’s integrated and physically protected and national guidelines for road design that prioritises the safety of vulnerable road users.”

A penny for your thoughts on this year's Pedal on Parliament event Pic: John Devlin
Thousands turned out to emphasise the importance of Pedal on Parliament Pic: John Devlin
Why pedal when you can let others take the strain? Pic: John Devlin
the message is clearly spreading as thousands took part in the tenth Pedal on Parliament Pic: John Devlin