Scottish Greens Highlands and Islands MSP Ariane Burgess joined people who use bicycles and other wheeling modes to commute and for leisure from across Inverness and the area for the Critical Mass cycle protest yesterday.
Critical Mass is part of a global movement where people of all ages cycle and wheel together to demonstrate that people who use non-polluting forms of transport should be able to travel safely on the roads.
The Inverness event’s aims are twofold: firstly, to encourage demand for better active travel infrastructure in the city and secondly to encourage community connection bringing people with a common interest a public voice in Inverness.
Highland Council installed Spaces for People measures that included safe active travel routes that encouraged more people to start cycling during the pandemic.
A recent Council decision removed some of these measures and, along with it, the safety for cyclists and wheelers.
Ariane Burgess MSP said:
“I am delighted to join people of all ages from across Inverness to highlight the need for safer active travel infrastructure so more people living in and around the city who want to cycle or wheel in the city can do so safely.
“I became a committed cyclist at 13 when I started cycling to school in Edinburgh and later rode in the monthly Critical Mass in New York City which at times rose to thousands of participants.
“The monthly ride worked, the city now has separated cycle lanes, and major arteries like Broadway have parts completely closed off to cars.
“Councils in Scotland must act boldly now if we are to encourage more people to embrace active travel.
“Safe routes and well-designed 20-minute neighbourhoods in more urban areas need to be combined to help us make choices that are good for people and the planet.
“I’m riding out with the Critical Mass community to call for safe and easy to use walking, wheeling and cycling infrastructure to be installed in Inverness.
“As we tackle the climate and nature emergencies, we must make it easy for people to leave the car behind.”