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PoP2015 : more cash promised!

Photo by Markus Stitz, @reizkultur

Photo by Markus Stitz, @reizkultur

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

#PoP2015 pic by @reizkultur

#PoP2015 pic by @reizkultur

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.

20mph hint

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.

Popliticians

Here are the politicians we know were there.   Tell us if we’ve made any mistakes of omission or commission.

** = Spokes member

MSPs

MP general election candidates

Edinburgh councillors

Other councillors

Resources – pictures, videos and reports

 

 

 

 

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