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 politicians 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 as with last year we want to do a bit more than just invite a few politicians along and have a few speeches at the end. This year especially, being an election year, we want to really engage our politicians – after all, they’re all in campaigning mode, whether they’re standing for Westminster or not. So, as with last year, we’ll be setting up areas down at the parliament building where you can meet politicians of all levels: MSPs, councillors and parliamentary candidates, and tell them yourself what matters to you. We know that they 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 politicians will be able to make it, as it’s a busy time for them with the election on. But if you haven’t already emailed your MSP, councillors, or candidates 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?
Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Transport (SNP)
Jayne Baxter, MSP, Mid Scotland and Fife (Labour)
Claudia Beamish, MSP, South Scotland (Labour)
Sarah Boyack, MSP, Lothian (Labour)
Cameron Buchanan, MSP, Lothian (Conservative)
Jim Eadie, MSP, Lothian (SNP)
Patrick Harvie, MSP, Glasgow (Green)
Cara Hilton, MSP, Mid Scotland and Fife (Labour)
Alison Johnstone, MSP, Lothian (Green)
Willie Rennie, MSP, Mid Scotland and Fife (Lib Dem)
Parliamentary Candidate Pat Black (Green, Edinburgh West)
Parliamentary Candidate Mike Crockart (Lib Dem, Edinburgh West)
Parliamentary Candidate Cammy Day (Labour, Edinburgh West)
Parliamentary Candidate Neil Hay (SNP, Edinburgh South)
Parliamentary Candidate Ian Murray (Labour, Edinburgh South)
Parliamentary Candidate Kenny Selbie (Labour, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)
Parliamentary Candidate Michelle Thomson (SNP, Edinburgh West)
Councillor Steve Burgess, Edinburgh (Green)