I was a bit worried when I saw the weather on friday (tipping it down most of the day and most of the night too) – thinking that might reduce numbers of cyclists coming to support the third Pedal on Parliament.
As is the case with most worries, it was unfounded. Such is their desire for safer cycling they would have come even if it had been raining. But it stayed dry for us the whole day.
Ian and I were walking this year – a variety of reasons including my lack of strength in my right hand since breaking my wrist in early January. Our good friends at Callprint Edinburgh laminated a fantastic sign for us ‘Pedestrian on Parliament’. I felt like a real activist then!
We led a 20 strong group of walkers supporting PoP and walked down the Royal Mile with pride – and thousands of cyclists cycling past us. Cheerily waving at us, chatting, ringing bells – this has got to be one of the friendliest demonstrations ever!
We have always had children cycling with us but it was more striking this year – their numbers had definitely increased and it was so lovely to see.
The PoP organisers had asked a few of the children to speak and they did so first – I said in my speech that none of the rest of us were needed after they spoke and I meant it. They were superb, Daniel, Kyle and Catherine were very eloquent and confident children and we owe it to them and to all of our children to do better and make it safe for them to get on their bikes and cycle anywhere.
I spoke too – I thought that when I did so at the first Pedal on Parliament I was expressing our sorrow at losing Andrew and that at some point in the future that sorrow would ease. It doesn’t. You learn to live with the pain but it is there every single moment of every single day and speaking to others in a similar situation they are the same. That sorrow is not helped by a justice system that is flawed but more on that later. I mention it now because it reinforces my desire for others not to go through this experience.
it was so good to see politicians in some numbers with us.
I asked the crowd and I ask you too now – if your politician was there, thank them and if they weren’t there please do write to them and tell them what we want.
No more cyclist deaths.
for anyone of any age to cycle safely
One day soon I will give you some thoughts on infrastructure and presumed liability but there is enough in here for today!
Today is about celebrating the success of PoP14 and the fact that the Scottish Government is listening to us, that the City of Edinburgh Council is doing more than any other council in Scotland
We can’t rest on our laurels – so please Find Your MSP or Find Your Councillor and write to them. The Pedal on Parliament manifesto is here. Information about presumed liability is here and you can sign their petition here.
We both send congratulations to the entire PoP team for their hard work and great organisation – and to every single person who came along – it was so lovely to speak with some of you and keep up the pressure.
The atmosphere was positive, friendly and supportive – and here is another request to you – if you came along please tell your friends, family and colleagues how good it was and encourage them to come next year. If you didn’t come, take a look at the photos and know you missed being part of something very special.
My personal thanks to Chris Hill for allowing me to use his photos – all are his bar a couple taken by my husband on his mobile phone – so you will see the difference in quality!
Good press coverage too!