Graeme Obree to join thousands of campaigners to Pedal on Parliament
The Flying Scotsman' lends support to pressurise politicians for more cycle funding
World champion cyclist Graeme Obree is to join thousands of campaigners and ordinary cyclists on next month's Pedal on Parliament in Scotland.
At 3pm on May 19, he will be among a group gathering in the Meadows and riding to the Scottish Parliament in order to present politicians with an eight point manifesto - full of measures to make Scotland a safer place to cycle.
3000 riders joined last year's demonstration, but campaigners say that kind words have been more forthcoming than actual investment - only £6 million over two years across the entire country.
Pedal on Parliament point out that this risks the Scottish government falling far short of it's own target of 10 per cent of all journeys to be made by bike by 2020.
Pedal on Parliament asks for at least 5% of the transport budget to be spent on cycling and 10% on all active travel, which in Scotland would amount to about £25 per head.
Graeme Obree said: "I would love to see Scotland develop a culture which supports cycling and encourages cycling as wholeheartedly as possible, be that for pleasure, leisure, transportation or competition.
"It’s one of the best ways to experience a town, city or the countryside, so any steps to improve consideration for the needs of cyclist will ultimately improve our country."
Pedal on Parliament say that road safety figures from Scotland show an increase in road traffic deaths of pedestrians and cyclists on last year - and expert projections showing that over a few years, these death rates are set to overtake the number of deaths in cars.
One of the Pedal on Parliament organisers, Sally Hinchcliffe said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have Graeme on board with PoP, even if it’s likely to be the slowest bike ride he’s ever been on.
"Professional riders like Graeme have to spend many hours training, and they know what the conditions can be like on the roads. There’s a whole generation of children growing up whose parents can’t risk letting them out to cycle on their own simply because it’s not safe.
"Not only have they lost the freedom we enjoyed on our bikes, but we risk losing the Graeme Obrees of tomorrow which is a tragedy for Scotland and for the whole world.”
All cyclists are invited to take part in this year's event.