Scotland’s youngest MSP urges Salmond to ‘get on his bike’

Alex Salmond is being challenged to get on his bike to raise the profile of cycling.

Labour Central Scotland MSP Mark Griffin, has offered to join the First Minister on a bike ride around Edinburgh in the hope that it will encourage people to cycle to work.

A recent Audit Scotland report warned that the Scottish Government’s plan to rely on a ten-fold increase in cycling to help meet climate change targets was “optimistic”.

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And the Scottish Government is under fire from Labour and environmental groups for slashing the budget to promote cycling and cycling lanes.

The Sustainable and Active Travel budget line in Transport Scotland’s funding, is due to be cut from £25.1 million in 2011-12 to £16m in 2012-13.

Mr Griffin, Scotland’s youngest MSP at the age of 26, said: “Politicians often tell other politicians to get on their bike, but this time we mean it. If we pass tough laws, we have to practice what we preach.

“So I am making a New Year’s resolution to cycle and walk to work more often and I am inviting Alex Salmond to join me on a bike ride around Edinburgh to highlight the need to cycle more.

“I know he is a busy man, so I’m happy to fit my diary around him. I am looking forward to Alex Salmond’s response.”

Labour environment spokeswoman Claire Baker said: “We have set really tough climate change laws in Scotland, but we need a credible plan to meet the targets. “We need to implement our climate change laws in a way that is fair and economically sustainable.”