Pedal on Parliament 2018, Aberdeen

It was the Aberdeen Pedal on Parliament today.  The Pedal on Parliament is a demonstration for safe cycling infrastructure throughout Scotland. The main event was in Edinburgh on Saturday but there were two smaller events, one in Aberdeen and the other in Inverness. It’s the fourth year running for Aberdeen and we had 80-100 people all cycling to The Town House, where we had a couple of talks and some music from Elijah Fynmore.

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It was nice to see so many children on bikes today, especially given that all the roads were open. The cost to close just Union Street for 30 minutes is almost £4,000 and we are all volunteers so the roads stayed open. In Edinburgh the City Council waives the fee.

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The area around The Town House and Marischal College is a mess with construction works right now but we found a new square right in front of Provost Skene House where we assembled for talks and music. The Costa Coffee right next door did a roaring trade. Cycling is good for business!

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Caitlin Cottrill from the University of Aberdeen and Alison Stuart from Aberdeen Climate Action both said a few words. There were also two politicians there – Ross Grant and Kirsty Blackman – although neither spoke. The Evening Express sent a photographer.

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Three fellows cycled all the way from Edinburgh for the event after the Pedal on Parliament in Edinburgh yesterday. They left Edinburgh at midnight and cycled all through the night to Aberdeen! You can read the Twitter thread with pics of their journey:

Someone from the Evening Express asked me afterwards whether I thought it was a success. It’s a difficult question to answer because true success is the provision of cycling infrastructure and I’m yet to see the Aberdeen City Council deliver this. But I’m sure every nudge in the right direction helps. If it didn’t then I wouldn’t bother. So I guess the correct answer is that I’m hopeful we’ll see success one day and that we can make Aberdeen a cycle-friendly city.