Investing in walking and cycling has to be at the core of any preventative health agenda.Alison Johnstone MSP
Scottish Green MSPs say today's (28 Apr) Pedal on Parliament (PoP) events in Edinburgh and Inverness, expected to be attended by thousands of cyclists and walkers, will show the need for safer streets with lower speed limits, and investment in cycling and walking routes to prevent ill-health.
The party's MSPs are due to take part with Mark Ruskell cycling 50 miles from his home in Doune to join Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone at the PoP Edinburgh ride. Meanwhile John Finnie will attend the separate PoP ride in Inverness.
Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell MSP, whose Safer Streets member's bill aims to reduce the speed limit in built-up areas from 30 to 20 mph, said:
"Momentum is growing for slower speeds to create safer streets which encourage more walking and cycling. The thousands of people from all walks of life expected at today's Pedal on Parliament events can add their voices to the broad public support that already exists for dropping the urban speed limit from 30 to 20 mph – it’s already one of PoP’s eight manifesto asks.
"Along with public support, and that of the leaders of Scotland's two biggest city councils, we have support from the OECD and the World Health Organisation for 20 mph to become the appropriate speed limit where walkers, cyclists and motor vehicles mix. Scotland has a chance to build on the success of efforts in Edinburgh, Fife and Clackmannanshire in rolling out a safer limit on streets where we live, work and play.
"I can assure campaigners that I’ll be working hard in the months ahead to bring my Member's Bill to fruition so we have safer streets for walking and cycling."
Alison Johnstone MSP, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:
"The seventh consecutive Pedal on Parliament is a reminder that our streets are there for all of us – whether travelling on foot, by bike, by wheelchair, or mobility scooter. I’ve been demanding more money for walking and cycling routes for many years and the budget Green MSPs negotiated with the Scottish Government this year doubled the funding available.
"Investing in walking and cycling has to be at the core of any preventative health agenda, as we have long known that spending more time being active is key to preventing Type 2 diabetes, for example. None of us can be in any doubt about the need to tackle toxic air pollution, and address the devastating health impacts of Scotland’s obesity epidemic."