In pictures: Thousands take part in Pedal on Parliament

Pedal on Parliament led by Mark Beaumont leaves the Meadows and heads down to Parliament. Picture: Greg Macvean
Pedal on Parliament led by Mark Beaumont leaves the Meadows and heads down to Parliament. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Record-breaking cyclist and adventurer Mark Beaumont led a mass ride on the Scottish Parliament to call for safer roads and more investment in active travel.

Thousands of cyclists joined the Pedal on Parliament (PoP) demonstration, which began in the Meadows and ended with a rally outside Holyrood.

Those attending the event, now in its seventh year, want the Scottish Government to commit to spending ten per cent of the transport budget on active travel.

They also called for cycling for all ages and abilities to be “designed into Scotland’s roads”, and for roads to be made safer.

Addressing the crowds, Beaumont urged campaigners to talk to their own 
communities about the issues confronting cyclists.

He said: “This specific ride, Pedal on Parliament, might be incredibly short in terms of distance, but I genuinely think its overall effect can be pretty profound.

“I think it’s incredibly important that we keep the culture around this conversation 
positive. I personally have been doing less advocacy, less communication on social media around road safety and culture because, for me, I am not 
particularly interested in talking to an echo chamber of polarised views.

“I am interested in talking to people who have the imagination and actually want to put specific actions in place to see the changes that we want.

“Naysayers and negativity don’t actually get us to where we want to go.”

While politicians were in attendance, there were no speeches from them this year with the organisers instead focusing on the views of younger cyclists.

Charlotte Brennan, eight, said she felt like “the roads are only for people who drive”, while Mhairi Gormley, 17, said she had been reduced to tears by the treatment she has received from drivers.

A Demonstration also took place in Inverness on Saturday, with another planned for Aberdeen yesterday.