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Dear POP supporterCan it really be that we’ve only got two weeks to go before we gather at the Meadows to ride down to Parliament? It certainly seems as if things are gathering momentum. We’re busy putting in place the last few elements of our own plan and we’re starting to see people up and down the country get behind their own plans for POP. We’re particularly excited that Graeme Obree will be joining on the day to support us – it’s been a huge boost for us and our publicity. But it’s just as exciting in many ways to learn that people are busy planning feeder rides, printing out posters, distributing leaflets and flyering bikes (Sara, one of the organisers here, was particularly pleased to find someone had flyered her own bike when she’d turned her back just for a minute. Thank you mystery bike flyerer, whoever you are!). If you’d like to help spread the word as we move into the last few days, then here are some ideas.Sadly, some of the recent momentum we’ve seen has been due to the announcement on Friday of the sentencing of Gary McCourt after he was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving of Audrey Fyfe – his second conviction for killing a cyclist. There’s been an outpouring of anger and frustration at so many aspects of this case, and particularly the fact that someone can kill not once but twice and still be allowed to drive again in five years’ time. For us, it means that our campaign is more urgent than ever. POP started in part because of the news of the deaths of cyclists in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and we’ve been supported from the outset by the family of Andrew McNicoll, who died in Edinburgh last year. We’ll be thinking of the Fyfes, the McNicolls,and the families of all the other cyclists who have died on Scotland’s roads during the minute’s silence that will start POP. We just hope that together we can create the political will that means these tragedies don’t just keep happening without resulting in real change to prevent them happening again. Changes to our legal system, changes to the way we train drivers, but above all changes to our roads.We’re delighted to hear that Keith Brown will be heading out to the Netherlands to learn about Dutch cycling provision – but if it’s not to be just another politician’s junket then the government needs to make some real changes as a result. Pedal on Parliament is all about putting the pressure on to give the politicians the will to make real changes. And because we know that MSPs do listen to their constituents when they take the time to contact them, we’re asking all of you to take a message to your own representatives when you come on the day.
Talking to people at the Scottish Bike show last weekend we were pleased at how many people had heard of POP already and were planning on coming – but also struck at how many people still hadn’t heard of our campaign, but were excited and enthusiastic as soon as they learned about it. We’ve got two weeks now to reach all those people – so get out there and help us spread the word.
Together we can make Scotland a cycle friendly nation