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Pedal on Parliament

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Pedal on Parliament is a grassroots campaign group that wants Scotland to be a place where active travel is safe and enjoyable Set up in 2012, it seeks improvements to make conditions on Scotland's roads suitable for those aged from 8 to 80 Event have been held annually, which have all included people cycling through Edinburgh to the Parliament A simultaneous ride in Aberdeen was introduced in 2015

In 2017, events are planned over two days: 22 April in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness; 23 April in Glasgow


  • 1 Manifesto
  • 2 Pedal on Parliament ride
    • 21 Feeder rides
  • 3 History
    • 31 Inaugural 2012 event
    • 32 2013 event
    • 33 2014 event
    • 34 2015 event
      • 341 Pedal on Marischal, Aberdeen
    • 35 2016 event
    • 36 2017 events
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


The campaign has an eight-point manifesto of areas for improvement towards making Scotland a cycle-friendly nation:1

  1. Proper funding for cycling
  2. Design cycling 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

Pedal on Parliament rideedit

Each year, a ride has followed a route from The Meadows to the Scottish Parliament The main ride gathers at Middle Meadow Walk, and then goes via George IV Bridge and the Royal Mile The ride down to the parliament is carried out at a leisurely pace as there are many children, some on balance bikes, and also people walking alongside that are not able to cycle for whatever reason It is policed mainly by Edinburgh-based Police on bikes, who also ride in with some of the local feeder rides, which can exceed 200 cyclists, and takes around 30 minutes for the end of the ride to leave The Meadows During the ride, road in the area are closed to traffic2

Participants in the main riders assemble at the parliament where speeches are then given by activists, politicians and others

A minute's silence has been held at these rides, to remember those unfortunate cyclists who have been killed on the roads3 In contrast, ringing of bike bells has also been used to celebrate cycling, and to signal agreement with speakers4

Feeder ridesedit

A series of "feeder rides" are organised from various locations around Edinburgh and Scotland These allow people to cycle to the event in a group, with the benefit of safety in numbers as well as being a sociable occasion The feeder rides are often joined by people en route to the Meadows, either at pre-defined points, or ad-hoc There was also a guided ride back to The Meadows along quiet streets after the event was over


Pedal on Parliament is a grassroots campaign which first organised a protest ride in 2012 in response to a lack of investment in cycling5 Before the group was formed, there was no national cycling campaign for Scotland6 After the large turnout in 2012, the group realised that their work would need to continue7 The group are now one of the organisations that take part in Scottish Parliament's Cross-Party group on cycling8

Inaugural 2012 eventedit

The first event took place on Saturday 28 April 2012, with between 2500-3000 people in attendance9 After gathering at The Meadows, people cycled down to the parliament where they delivered a petition that had been signed by over 3000 people10 This rally had followed several meetings between Government and road safety professionals and safety campaigners11

2013 eventedit

The second event was held on Sunday 19 May 2013 The procession of 4000 cyclists were led by the families of Audrey Fyfe and Andrew McNicoll who were both killed while cycling in Edinburgh,12 as well as the athlete Graeme Obree13 Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, received the campaign's eight-point manifesto13

2014 eventedit

The third Pedal on Parliament was held on 26 April 2014 and was the largest yet, with estimates of over 4500 people attending14 The event had started at midday due to allow for the football match traffic later that day and the Great Edinburgh Run being held the following day

Speeches were introduced by David Brennan, one of the organisers,15 and began with the views from three children, who were followed by a number of MSPs and campaign leaders:

  • Daniel, Kyle, and Katharine: children who explained they wanted to cycle, but couldn't because of the lack of safe infrastructure and the dangerous roads between their house and school
  • Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Transport SNP, who remarked that "this was the largest demonstration we have seen outside parliament"
  • Alison Johnstone MSP, Lothian Green
  • Willie Rennie MSP, Mid Scotland and Fife Lib Dem
  • Claudia Beamish MSP, South Scotland Labour
  • Councillor Cameron Rose, Edinburgh Conservative
  • Lynne McNicoll from the charity Andrew Cyclist
  • Chris Oliver from Road Share spoke about the campaign for presumed liability

Several other MSPs and councillors were at the event, primarily from Edinburgh and the surrounding areas1617

2015 eventedit

The fourth event was held on Saturday 25 April 2015 Transport Minister Derek Mackay attended the event along with representatives of all the main political parties2

Speeches were again held outside the Parliament, following a minute's silence for those who have been killed on the roads18

  • Briana Pegado, President of the Edinburgh University Students' Association
  • Emilia Hanna, Friends of the Earth
  • Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Transport and Islands, announced "record breaking" funding for cycling in 2015/16
  • Cameron Buchanan MSP, Conservative
  • Sarah Boyack MSP, Labour
  • Alison Johnstone MSP, Green
  • Bruce Whitehead, Left Unity candidate

Pedal on Marischal, Aberdeenedit

A simultaneous ride was also held in Aberdeen, from Hazlehead Park to Marischal College, to increase the profile of cycling in the city19 Around 150 people gathered at the headquarters of Aberdeen City Council and were met by councillors from a range of parties20

2016 eventedit

A fifth mass ride event was held on 23 April 2016, during the run up to the Scottish elections, with a main ride in Edinburgh and a simultaneous ride in Aberdeen21 The Edinburgh ride was attended by the leaders of three political parties- Kezia Dugdale, Willie Rennie and Patrick Harvie22 It was the second year that Derek Mackay, Scotland's Minister for Transport, took part23

2017 eventsedit

In 2017, local elections were being held and organisers planned to have rides over two days, initially announcing rides in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow24 A ride in Inverness was announced later2526

In Aberdeen there were around 100 people on the ride,27 while there were around 120 people on the Inverness ride28


  1. ^ "The Manifesto Making Scotland a cycle-friendly nation" Pedal on Parliament Retrieved 26 April 2014 
  2. ^ a b Miller, David 25 April 2015 "Thousands take part in Pedal on Parliament in Edinburgh" BBC News 
  3. ^ Clarke, Stuart 27 April 2015 "Thousands take part in Pedal on Parliament in Edinburgh" Cycling Weekly Retrieved 12 March 2017 
  4. ^ Moyes, Vonny 25 April 2016 "Let's face it - cycling has an image problem" The National Retrieved 12 March 2017 
  5. ^ Hinchcliffe, Sally 24 May 2013 "Why we pedalled on the Scottish parliament" The Guardian Retrieved 24 April 2015 
  6. ^ Hinchcliffe, Sally 16 April 2014 "Pedal on Parliament: the stakes are high ahead of Scottish referendum" The Guardian Retrieved 24 April 2015 
  7. ^ Hinchcliffe, Sally 23 April 2015 "The other political campaign in Scotland – for better cycling" The Guardian Retrieved 24 April 2015 
  8. ^ "MSPs: Cross-Party Groups: Cycling" Scottish Parliament Retrieved 24 April 2015 
  9. ^ "Pedal on Parliament: Introducing the campaign for safer cycling" The Scotsman Johnston Press 27 April 2012 Retrieved 26 April 2014 
  10. ^ Swarbrick, Susan 28 April 2012 "Hoy and Obree back bid for safer cycling" The Herald Newsquest Retrieved 26 April 2014 
  11. ^ Scott, Kirsty 21 March 2012 "Safe cycling campaign pedals to Scottish parliament" The Guardian Retrieved 23 April 2015 
  12. ^ Swarbrick, Susan 20 May 2013 "Pedal power lobby team calls for safer roads for cyclists" The Herald Retrieved 4 November 2015 
  13. ^ a b "Graeme Obree leads 4000-strong Holyrood cycle campaign" Sunday Herald Newsquest 19 May 2013 Retrieved 26 April 2014 
  14. ^ BBC Scotland News report about Pedal on Parliament 2014 wwwyoutubecom 26 April 2014 Retrieved 26 April 2014 
  15. ^ "Thousands take part in Pedal on Parliament event in Edinburgh" BBC News 26 April 2014 
  16. ^ "Meet the MSPs" Pedal on Parliament Retrieved 26 April 2014 
  17. ^ "Pedal on Parliament, 2014 Popliticians" SPOKES Retrieved 28 April 2014 
  18. ^ "Minister pledges record spending at fourth Pedal on Parliament" Pedal on Parliament Retrieved 4 July 2015 
  19. ^ "Pedal on Parliament – PoP Aberdeen" Aberdeen Cycle Forum Retrieved 4 July 2015 
  20. ^ Ewen, David 27 April 2015 "Aberdeen ride highlights safety for cyclists" Evening Express Retrieved 15 March 2017 
  21. ^ "Cyclists' join 'pedal on parliament' demo in Edinburgh" BBC News 23 April 2016 Retrieved 12 March 2017 
  22. ^ "VIDEO: Thousands of cyclists demonstrate outside Scottish Parliament" The Herald 23 April 2016 Retrieved 12 March 2017 
  23. ^ Dalton, Alastair 21 April 2016 "Record turnout expected for Pedal on Parliament" The Scotsman Retrieved 22 April 2016 
  24. ^ "POP Goes Large – save the dates: 22nd and 23rd April" Press release Pedal on Parliament 18 February 2017 Retrieved 2 April 2017 
  25. ^ Munro, Alistair 23 March 2017 "Campaign launched to make Inverness a cycle-friendly city" The Scotsman Retrieved 2 April 2017 
  26. ^ Aird, Helen 20 April 2017 "Pedal power call for cycle support" Inverness Courier Retrieved 22 April 2017 
  27. ^ "Cyclists across Scotland turn to pedal power to demand a better deal" Evening Express 22 April 2017 Retrieved 23 April 2017 
  28. ^ Ramage, Iain 24 April 2017 "Inverness cyclists call for more pedestrian routes" Press and Journal Retrieved 24 April 2017 

External linksedit

  • Official website

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Pedal on Parliament

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