Now What?

George IV Bridge

George IV Bridge, by Acanthus

Ever since we gathered on Saturday – all 3000 strong – there’s been just one question on everybody’s lips: now what?

From the people who came to lend their support, from the people who’ve emailed us after the event, and from ourselves – even from the politicians who came along and spoke, whether in government or in opposition – we have heard the same thing: we, as cyclists and as people who want to cycle, need to keep the pressure on. Three thousand people pedalling on parliament is just the start. We’ve got to tell the politicians what we want and we’ve got to keep telling them.

We’ve had a huge amount of feedback from participants already, and we’re working away behind the scenes to consider what next, but now it’s your turn to act:

  1. Write to your politicians. We know it feels a bit boring compared to going on a big bike ride, and maybe even a little strange, but we know from our own conversations with MSPs that, more than anything else, it’s letters from their constituents that makes a difference. So follow this link to write to them, put something in your own words, and tell them that you want to see safer cycling in Scotland the way you told us on Saturday.
  2. Vote. On Thursday, the whole of Scotland takes part in local elections. If you can, ask your council candidates what their cycling policies are, and tell them what you’d like them to be. Every vote counts and because you can put your candidates in order of preference, even if cycling policy isn’t the primary factor you’d judge your councillors on it might be the ‘tie breaker’ lower down. Spokes’s advice on how to make your votes count can be found under the ‘what to do now’ section here.
  3. Tell us who you are. We’d have loved to have gone round and thanked each and every one of you on Saturday and asked you for your name and (if you were willing) email address so we could keep in touch with you for the future. But there were just too damn many of you! We’ll be putting the ability to sign up on the website in place soon but for now you could email us at hello {AT} pedalonparliament {DOT} org letting us know if you’d be able to help – or if you just want to keep in touch. Or join our facebook group. Or at least follow us on twitter and we’ll use that to let you know what’s going to happen next.
  4. Get involved locally. Cycling is as much an issue for local authorities as it is for the Scottish Government and without vocal local cycling campaigns, the little money that is spent on cycling is often wasted. Pedal on Parliament has been ably supported by Spokes and Go Bike! Strathclyde and if you live in either of their catchment areas and have not signed up, we urge you to do so. The Spokes bulletin is the way to find out what’s going on with cycling both in Edinburgh and across Scotland and their analysis of the current budget and what is needed to bring about safer cycling has informed our manifesto to a huge degree. There are also local cycle campaigns in AberdeenDumfries, the HighlandsPerth and Kinross, and Stirling.  You should also consider joining CTC Scotland which have supported Pedal on Parliament from the start and have ‘right to ride’ representatives in every local authority, as well as local member groups. And if there isn’t a campaign or a CTC group in your area, why not form one? It can’t be any harder than organising a mass ride on Parliament. Trust us on this one…
  5. Tell us what you think. We know that this is just the start of a long haul, mainly because all of you have been queuing up to tell us. We’re still working out what our next step will be so if you have an idea – or just want to help out – email us on Hello {at} pedalonparliament {dot} org and let us know.
  6. Get on your bike. Not for any real reason, just because it’s fun. After all, that’s what we’re all about!
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