A lot of people ask us why we’re pedalling on parliament on a Saturday, when there aren’t any MSPs there. It’s a fair point, and the answer is mainly about the logistics of getting as many people as possible out to show their support for safer cycling – but it’s not strictly accurate to say that there are no MSPs there. In fact, we’ve always had MSPs turn out for POP to show their support. One of them (Kezia Dugdale) even took up cycling again after braving the Royal Mile last year on a tandem – and has subsequently raised issues about cycling in Edinburgh in debates at Holyrood. Many of you have taken the time to invite your MSPs along this time – and we’ve got a few already confirmed as coming. The more who do come, the more well-informed and cycling-friendly voices we will have to air our concerns in parliament not just on one day, but all year round.
But this year we want to do a bit more than just invite MSPs along and have a few speeches at the end. We want to really engage our MSPs – or more to the point we want you to. So this year, we’ll be setting up areas down at the parliament building where you can meet the MSPs (hopefully at least one of your regional list MSPs) and tell them yourself what matters to you. We know that MSPs do pay attention to emails, and even more so to letters, but it’s what constituents tell them face to face that really sticks, so if you have something to say, now is your chance to say it.
Not all of the MSPs will be able to make it, especially as we only had this brilliant idea last week so haven’t given them much notice. But if you haven’t already emailed your MSP, now might be the chance to do it, to encourage them to come along and take part. And failing that, you can still email them to let them know what you’d like to see to make cycling in Scotland safer for everyone – including politicians.
Here’s the list of politicians who have either confirmed they are coming or we believe to be coming. Is your representative on there?
- Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Transport (SNP)
- Mark Lazarowicz, MP Edinburgh North and Leith (Labour)
- Ian Murray, MP Edinburgh South (Labour)
- Sheila Gilmore, MP Edinburgh East (Labour)
- Marco Biagi, MSP Edinburgh Central (SNP)
- Alison Johnstone, MSP, Lothian (Green)
- Patrick Harvie, MSP, Glasgow (Green)
- Jayne Baxter, MSP, Mid Scotland and Fife (Labour)
- Cara Hilton, MSP, Mid Scotland and Fife (Labour)
- Alex Rowley, MSP, Cowdenbeath (Labour)
- Kezia Dugdale, MSP, Lothian (Labour)
- Sarah Boyack, MSP, Lothian (Labour)
- Willie Rennie, MSP, Mid Scotland and Fife (Lib Dem)
- Claudia Beamish, MSP, South Scotland (Labour – coming at 12:45 pm)
- Malcolm Chisholm, MSP, Edinburgh North and Leith (Labour, possibly coming later)
- Councillor Andrew Burns, Leader, Edinburgh (Labour)
- Councillor Lesley Hinds, Convenor of Transport, Edinburgh (Labour)
- Councillor Cameron Rose, Edinburgh (Conservative)
- Councillor Adam McVey, Edinburgh (SNP)
- Councillor Steve Burgess, Edinburgh (Green – ride only)
- Councillor Nigel Bagshaw, Edinburgh (Green)
- Councillor Alan Moir, East Dunbarton (Labour)
- Councillor Jim Orr, Edinburgh (Independent)