The fourth – and no less phenomenal – Pedal on Parliament was topped with a clear public promise from new Transport Minister Derek Mackay that cycling investment in 15/16 would be the highest ever…
The long and the short of it
After a long period of stagnation and, initially, decline, under the two SNP governments, last year 14/15 saw a big jump in cycling investment – up from its longstanding pattern of under 1% of total transport spending to nearly 2%. Mr Mackay’s commitment should certainly mean 15/16 will exceed 2%, though we hope it will be well over – and, indeed, it needs to be, given the government’s ‘vision’ for 10% of all trips to be by bike in 2020. Mr Mackay rightly praised Edinburgh Council – which currently invests 8% of its transport budget in cycling.
Speaking to the perhaps 4000 participants Mr Mackay also made an intriguing further commitment, “I commend Edinburgh council for leading the way on 20mph limits and I will make it as easy as possible for other councils to follow suit.” Under the present system, in order to implement its city-wide 20mph plan, Edinburgh has to draw up, and get through the objections process, a Traffic Regulation Order specifying every street involved – over 2,500 streets! How much simpler if 20mph was the default urban limit, and councils only had to specify those streets which would be 30mph or 40mph. Last year Edinburgh asked the Scottish Government to consider this. So far the government has said no – but could Mr Mackay now be having a rethink?
The other speakers are listed below. See the PoP report for extracts – and see the full videos of speeches in the Resources section at the end of this article.
- Briana Pegado, President of Edinburgh University Student Assn
- Emilia Hanna, Toxic Emissions campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland
- Sarah Boyack, Labour
- Willie Rennie, LibDem
- Alison Johnstone, Green
- Cameron Buchanan, Conservative
- Bruce Whitehead, Left Unity
Edinburgh smiles – with one exception!
Edinburgh Council Leader Andrew Burns and Transport Convener Lesley Hinds had plenty to smile about, as speaker after speaker, not least the Minister, as above, rightly complimented the city on its cycling budget and ambition. The smiles did, however, temporarily fade away when speaker and fellow Labour party member Sarah Boyack MSP, looking directly at them, suggested the Council should think again about its proposal to cut bus lane hours!
Fun for all
Have a look at the photo links below!! – as always the event was huge fun. Despite the worst predictions of the Met Office, the sun was out, perhaps proving the perspicacity or even the power of Edinburgh Council’s leader, Cllr Andrew Burns with his own weather predictions.
Here are the politicians we know were there. Tell us if we’ve made any mistakes of omission or commission.
** = Spokes member
- Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Transport & the Islands (SNP)
- Jayne Baxter, MSP (Labour)
- Claudia Beamish MSP(Labour)
- Sarah Boyack MSP (Labour)**
- Cameron Buchanan, MSP (Conservative)
- Patrick Harvie MSP (Green)
- Cara Hilton MSP (Labour)
- Alison Johnstone MSP (Green)**
- Willie Rennie MSP (Lib Dem)
MP general election candidates
- Pat Black (Green, Edinburgh West)
- Mike Crockart (Lib Dem, Edinburgh West)
- Cammy Day (Labour, Edinburgh West)
- Sheila Gilmore (Labour, Edinburgh East)**
- Neil Hay (SNP, Edinburgh South)
- Mark Lazarowicz (Labour, Edinburgh North & Leith)**
- Peter McColl (Green, Edinburgh East)
- Ian Murray (Labour, Edinburgh South)**
- Kenny Selbie (Labour, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)
- Michelle Thomson (SNP, Edinburgh West)
- Bruce Whitehead (Left Unity, Edinburgh North & Leith)**
- Andrew Burns (Lab) leader of Edinburgh Council
- Lesley Hinds (Lab) Transport Convener
- Adam McVey (SNP) Transport Vice-Convener
- Deidre Brock (SNP) Depute Lord Provost
- Chas Booth (Green)**
- Steve Burgess (Green)
- Maggie Chapman (Green)
- Maureen Child (Lab)**
- Mark Hood (Lab) Lochgelly and Cardenden
Resources – pictures, videos and reports
- BBC Scotland report [NB re their bikes-on-trams reference, see our article]
- PoP report
- Edinburgh Evening News
- Critical Mass report
- Videos of speeches by Shaun McDonald
- Pictures by Markus Stitz
- Pictures by Andy Catlin
- Pictures by Sara Simmons