“The great city is not the one that has highways, but one where a child on a tricycle or bicycle can go safely everywhere.” – Enrique Penalosa
Many of us have now had the best seat in the house seeing just how this vision translates into a reality. Not just in our cities, but in towns and neighbourhoods across the country – quieter roads setting the scene. Children are comfortably cycling alongside their parents, key workers are turning to active travel for their commute, teenagers are getting about on their own steam relatively carefree and much of the purpose-built infrastructure that has been built is a setting for Copenhagen-levels of cycling.
The benefits of active travel are vast but, with restrictions easing and public transport at reduced capacity, we now must ensure that it remains a priority measure in managing this crisis. It will prove vital in tackling air pollution as well as addressing the mental-health legacy of Covid-19.
Research indicates that air pollution has worsened the outbreak in many countries. Social isolation, stress, and anxiety borne from the pandemic and its knock- on effects have left others just as vulnerable. The sharp reduction in the use of motor vehicles at the start of lockdown brought cleaner air to many but, if walking and cycling is returned to the margins, dangerous levels of air pollution will quickly return. It is vital that those who wish to walk and cycle be able to do so in safety. Eyes have been opened but we must stop our politicians sleepwalking back to car-centricity.
The beginning of this month should have seen PoP events taking place all around the country but we needed to cancel on the grounds of public safety. By the time we made the difficult decision, we were already in possession of our merchandise for this year.
Whilst our organisers and volunteers donate their time for free, campaigns such as #SpaceForDistancing and planning for PoP at COP26 (at which we remain determined to make an impact) still attract costs. As we’re definitely in the midst of some T-shirt weather one way you can help financially is by purchasing one of these fabulous garments designed by the talented Andy Arthur.
We can’t go back to where we were (and neither can the t-shirts) so pledge your support for a cycle-friendly Scotland by ordering a t-shirt today –
Together we can help make Scotland a cycle-friendly country.