Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian, has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament urging the Scottish Government to make the most of “the Wiggins effect” and support efforts to bring the Tour de France to Edinburgh.
Bradley Wiggins is the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France and his success, along with the sight of Edinburgh’s Sir Chris Hoy leading the British Olympic team, is expected to inspire more people to get on their bikes.
Alison’s motion, which other MSPs are invited to support, highlights the prospect of the Tour coming to Scotland, the benefits cycling brings to health and the economy and urges ministers to commit serious funding to cycle infrastructure.
“We are witnessing the dawn of a golden age for cycling and we must do all we can to sustain it. Edinburgh’s champion cyclist is leading out Team GB, a Brit has won the Tour de France for the first time, and usage of Scotland’s network of cycle routes is booming.
“No longer can cycling be viewed as a mildly-eccentric hobby; it is mainstream and growing. Government should be doing everything it can to make it easy for us to nip to the shops, commute to work and get some exercise.”
As an Edinburgh city councillor Alison backed the idea of bringing the opening stage of the Tour de France to Edinburgh.
Since becoming an MSP last year Alison has set up a Cross Party Group on cycling in the Scottish Parliament, and led a Scottish Green Party debate on the issue at Holyrood, which resulted in all parties backing the Green position.