THE cream of Scottish cycling talent has saddled up to call for improved cycle safety.
Olympic gold-medal winning cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, round the world adventurer Mark Beaumont and former world champion Graeme Obree have all pledged their support for the grass-roots Pedal on Parliament (POP) campaign.
Begun by a group of cyclists from across Scotland, POP is inviting anyone who wishes to join them on the streets of the Capital on Saturday.
The group, which will set off from the Meadows at 2pm on the day, has released a manifesto which it feels will help the government reach its target of ten per cent of journeys being made by bike by 2020.
Its demands include more funding for cycling and training, lower speed limits, and for cycling to be central to local transport strategies.
Beaumont will join the ride on the day alongside families, commuters, and racers.
He said: “I support the manifesto points and hope that the politicians do take notice of them. There have been some tragic accidents in recent months and small changes could make the difference between life and death.”
The campaign also has the support of Edinburgh-born Sir Chris, who said in a tweet to his 65,000 supporters: “Great campaign to improve cycling safety in Scotland, show your support @POPScotland Pedal on Parliament.”
Graeme Obree, cycling’s “Flying Scotsman”, who twice broke the world hour record and is now attempting the world land speed record on a bike, has also lent his support.
In a statement he said:” Supporting this campaign will, I hope, help improve the welfare of cyclists and really drive focus on a properly integrated transport policy where pedestrians and cyclists are given proper consideration.”
An online petition has so far garnered more than 1900 signatures while the campaign has also attracted cross-party political support too.
Pedal on Parliament organiser David Brennan said: “We are incredibly honoured to have such support for our campaign.
“The time for significant policy change towards cycling and active travel is now and we call on politicians from all parties to read our manifesto and to act on its recommendations accordingly.”
Saturday’s ride will go to Holyrood to deliver a petition and a copy of the manifesto to the Scottish Parliament.
Feeder rides are also being organised.