Last Saturday, Greener Leith helped to organise the Leith Feeder ride for the Pedal on Parliament protest.
The day dawned sunny, if a bit chilly, and as is tradition for Greener Leith organised bike rides we convened outside Mal Maison, on the Shore.
We eventually set off with about 20 folk, including local MP Mark Lazarowicz, a two year old in a bike trailer, a couple of folk on folding bikes and Leith’s leading podcaster. As the idea for a Leith feeder ride was born on Twitter, it was perhaps unsurprising that lot’s of folk on the ride began by introducing themselves to each other our Twitter handles – a sign of the times indeed.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the ride, was that all along the route we met other cyclists who were either waiting for us, or who tagged along because they were heading to the same place. So, by the time we arrived in the Meadows there were more than 30 of us – including at least three more kids.
As progress of the ride was documented mainly by other folk on social media, it seemed appropriate to try to pull all the Leith related tweets together using Storify. You can see these below.
Local photographer Richard Cross also shared the best photos of the day taken by anyone on Flickr (discuss!). You can see one of them illustrating this post – and another below.
The turn-out on the day was incredible – perhaps an order of magnitude greater than both the organisers and the Police had forecast – with somewhere between 2500 and 3000 people taking part.
This is further evidence, if it were needed, that there is a really strong desire from people all over Scotland to see tangible action, rather than political platitudes, on the issue of cycle safety.
Locally, Greener Leith has been campaigning on this issue since 2007, and whilst there’s notable improvement in liveable streets in the area – for example at The Shore – perhaps the next key test for the council will be on how it approaches the redesign of Leith Walk once the utility works are complete.
So, if the event has inspired you to back the campaign you may want to consider the advice in this SPOKES post on ‘What to do next – vote in this weeks election and if you get the chance, ask your local council candidates what they’re Vision for Leith Walk is.
Will they commit to providing better cycling and pedestrian infrastructure on the street – or do they want it to return to a dual carriageway? Of course if any of them wish to explain their views on active travel in the comments below they’re welcome to post them!
Special thanks should also go to Emily Dodd who interviewed some folk on the Greener Leith camcorder on the ride. When we’ve wrangled the clips into some semblance of a thing then we’ll post them to our YouTube account.
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