Back in February 2012 when we were coming up for a name for our campaign it didn’t take us long to come up with Pedal on Parliament. The first suggestion was Cycle on Holyrood, so it wasn’t a huge leap to come up with PoP, as it is now affectionately known. The name is very important as it encompasses in three simple words that describe what out campaign is all about. Pedal, signifies that it is all about cycling. On describes the fact that we are taking a message to someone. Parliament highlights the fact that it’s about communicating with our politicians.
PoP is asking for significant changes in government policy and for significant funding to be spent on cycle infrastructure and for that to happen we need to get the message across to our MSPs. Cycling is not just a form of recreation, but a serious mode of transport and one that is a magic bullet for many of Scotland’s ills. Therefore, it is very pleasing to see that we will have some of our politicians not only coming along to talk outside parliament, but to actually cycle along with us.
Jim Eadie (SNP), Alison Johnstone (Green), and Sarah Boyack (Labour), who all support PoP and who attended last year will be attending. Ian Murray MP (who was also here last year) and Kezia Dugdale (Lab) are also coming and will be coming together on a tandem! Keep an eye out for them!
We are also very pleased to hear that the government will be sending a minster to PoP: Paul Wheelhouse, the minister for Environment and Climate Change. Sadly a prior commitment means he won’t be able to complete the ride with us but he will have time to receive our manifesto and make a short speech and we will be interested in hearing what Paul has to say.
Words are one thing, but the government has not followed up their previous words with action. We hope that Paul won’t reiterate the same old announcements of the last year. They certainly like telling us what the government has and is already committed to investing. It isn’t anywhere near enough. Crumbs from the table. We hope that Paul will be announcing that the government realises that only a step change in funding will make Scotland a cycle friendly nation.
We will see.