Last year we decided to ring the changes and swap our main Pedal on Parliament event for a series of local ‘Pop-up PoP’ protests. We weren’t sure then how many people would respond or whether the whole idea would fall flat on its face. In the end, there were 20 pop-ups right across Scotland from Dumfries to Inverness and ranging from human bike lanes and school bike buses to roving jelly babies, bears (and cows) on bikes, and a spot of freelance parking enforcement. You can get a flavour of the weekend by having a look at our #12DaysOfPopmas tag (if you didn’t catch it over Christmas) – and just putting those tweets together reminded us just how much fun that weekend was.

This year, we’re popping up again over the weekend of the 1st-3rd May – and we need you, whoever you are and whatever your level of involvement! 

Some of our pop-ups were organised by existing and well-established campaign groups but others (including some of the most inventive!) were just individuals who saw a need and stepped up, sometimes at the last minute. We also had pop-ups from existing or newly established groups who used them to move into campaigning or step-up their efforts. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be running a few posts by some of those involved about their experiences and what happened next – and we hope this will inspire you to give it a go.

"We need a zebra crossing" sign
This Scotstoun protest calling for a zebra crossing was organised just weeks before our POP events last year. We particularly like the homemade belisha beacons! Photo: Andy Watson

What does running a Pop-up Pop involve? It’s as simple as finding a local issue that you’d like to see improved in your area – from a lack of safe crossings or safe cycling infrastructure to poor enforcement or maintenance, or barriers on paths – and then think of a good way to protest it. You can get a flavour of last year’s events here, which might provide inspiration, but we’re equally open to new ideas! 

Negotiating a chicane with a trailer
Demonstrating the difficulty of navigating some of the barriers to NCN 1 on the Edinburgh Chicane Challenge. Photo: Chris Fleming

Once you’ve told us your plans, we’ll help in a number of ways. As well as spreading the word through our networks, we’ll provide poster and flyer templates (and can offer some funding for printing and other expenses). We’ve also got insurance so we can cover events for those organisers who don’t have any themselves (i.e. through an existing campaign group). We can also help with press releases and we’re always happy to advise organisers (or even suggest actions if you’re struggling to come up with ideas). We can also put people in touch with each other if they’re interested in doing something in the same area.

If this sounds interesting, but you’re still not sure if it’s for you, then we’re also happy to talk things through and answer any questions you might have.

So now it’s over to you. Want to see safer cycling (and walking) in your area? The answer is in your hands. Just drop us a line on hello@pedalonparliament.org and together we’ll start making Scotland a cycle-friendly country, one local issue at a time!

mass kids' bike ride
Kids on bikes at the Midlothian POP. Let’s make the streets safe for them every day! Photo: Colin Jackson
Calling Scotland’s cyclists: Will you be popping up with us this year?