London sometimes seems a very long way away from Dumfries – and never more so when you read about the announcement from the mayor for almost £1 billion to be spent on cycling – including a really world-class cross-city route for cyclists, and a network of direct, safe routes that follow the major tube and bus routes.
Revolutions have been announced in the past, but this looks like the real deal, if it comes off. And as London forges ahead, it looks as if Scotland is going to be falling ever further behind. I was recently in Copenhagen – a city every bit as cold and forbidding as anywhere in Scotland in winter – and even on a raw February day it was packed with bikes, all of them cycling on routes like the one planned for London, safely away from the traffic. All across Europe, from Stockholm to Seville and from London to Berlin, cities are being transformed and real investment is being put into the only form of transport apart from walking that makes places healthier, cleaner, quieter and happier. Meanwhile in Scotland we have to fight for every penny of spending on cycling, we have a transport minister who wants to ‘modernise’ by building more motorways, and we can’t even get our bike paths cleared and gritted in the winter.
That’s why we support Pedal on Parliament, and will be joining them to protest the lack of investment in safe cycling in this country. We want to gather as many folk as possible from Dumfries and Galloway who cycle, or who would like to cycle, or who would like to see their families cycling in safety, to join the mass ride on Sunday 19th May (note the new date) on the Scottish Parliament. It will take a bit of organising, especially on a Sunday, but we think it’s important.
If you’d like to come, and want help organising transport, or can help – contact us – either by emailing cyclingdumfries AT gmail DOT com – or just leave a comment on this post. Or come along on Thursday 14th March to the Coach & Horses at 6pm to help work out our plans in person.