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Rachel Martin and the Aberdeen Cycle Forum at a protest last year.

Protest ride to demand more investment in Aberdeen cycling infrastructure

A pedal-powered protest has been organised to urge the city council to increase its cycling infrastructure.

The Aberdeen Cycle Forum (ACF) is a voluntary group that works to encourage and develop cycling within the Granite City.

Members are planning a mass bike ride in the centre of the city on Sunday to highlight the need for segregated cycling infrastructure in Aberdeen.

The 1.6km event will begin at Marischal College, progress up Schoolhill towards Union Terrace Gardens, and then return to Broad Street via Union Street.

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The protesters are calling on 10% of the council’s transport budget to be invested in creating segregated cycle paths on existing and new roads.

Specifically, they want to see Union Street revamped with a segregated cycling lane.

The protest will be part of a full weekend of cycling action co-ordinated by Pedal on Parliament (PoP), which is campaigning to make Scotland a cycle-friendly country.

Rachel Martin, a volunteer with ACF, said: “The question we need to ask ourselves is, ‘Can an unaccompanied 12-year-old cycle safely in the city?’ and the answer is ‘no’.

“We want cycling to be inclusive and something everyone can do including children and women – both groups that are currently under-represented as cyclists.

“Aberdeen is falling behind other cities when it comes to cycling infrastructure.

“The roads are polluted and congested, and protected cycle paths are non-existent in the city centre.”

Last year, members of the ACF protested on Union Street to drum up support for theircall to the council to implement cycle paths and, a matter of months later, representatives from the group took to St Nicholas Square to raise awareness of pollution levels in the city. 

ACF volunteers

The upcoming protest will be part of Scotland’s annual Pedal on Parliament, which is traditionally focused on Holyrood but, for 2019, is aimed at improvements that could be made by local councils.

ACF is seeking cyclists from across the north-east to join them at their mass cycle on April 28, starting at 11am outside Marischal College.

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