Forum hoping to pedal up change and see more cycle paths created
A GROUP is planning a bike ride through the city to encourage higher transport spending on creating safe cycle paths. The Aberdeen Cycling Forum is taking part in the annual Pedal on Parliament (POP) for the fourth time on Sunday.
The group plans to cycle from Hazlehead Park at 11am to the Town House, where speakers will address the crowd. Rachel Martin, one of the members of POP’S organising committee, outlined the aims of the event.
She said: “The Pedal on Parliament is our chance to convince politicians that we need to increase the percentage of the transport budget for active travel, so that children can ride bikes to school and women and elderly people can feel safe on bikes. “None of this is going to happen if we don’t have safe cycle paths.”
Rachel believes many issues facing the residents of Aberdeen could be solved simply by getting more people on their bicycles.
She said: “I think that cycling can solve many of the problems that we have today. “The obesity crisis, the climate crisis, the NHS crisis. We’ve got this one solution that solves all these problems.
“But most people aren’t going to ride a bike unless there’s a safe space for them.” A second, smaller route for the ride has also been planned, with cyclists able to join the group at Albyn Place, for the ride along Union Street to the Town House.
For the first time, this year’s event will feature speeches. The University of Aberdeen’s Dr Caitlin Cottrill will speak about the benefits of active travel and Aberdeen Climate Action’s co-founder Alison Stuart will be talking about the environmental benefits of cycling. Rachel has also lodged a petition with the city council, signed by 250 people, calling for a cycle path to be placed on Union Street.
She is to plead her case to the operational deliveries committee on Thursday.
active travel: Participants and Aberdeen council co-leader Jenny Laing at last year’s event.