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Campaign Ross Laird alongside community members © Supplied

Pedalling Towards a Cycle Friendly Penicuik

Penicuik could be the first cycle-friendly community in Midlothian thanks to new community-based initiatives in the town to encourage cycling.

A community-based initiate was kicked-off at the Easter Weekend, with the creation of a new Facebook page to help identify new opportunities to promote cycling in the town. Following talks with community leaders in recent months, Penicuik cyclists are combining their efforts to work with the local council, Penicuik First and the Community Council to operate this new initiative.

The new group is being spearheaded by local campaigner Ross Laird. Initial talks with Penicuik First, the Community Council and Midlothian Council have demonstrated that there is a real willingness by all of the key stakeholders to identify new sources of funding and bring cyclists needs to the fore in the town. As well as generally promoting cycling in Penicuik and surrounds, the aim would be to commission an assessment of improvements that would make the town better for all cyclists through infrastructure improvements, cycle lanes and signage.

Both Midlothian Council and Penicuik First have already identified the tourism potential from cycling and are keen to maximise opportunities from increasing the cycle network. However, the Penicuik initiative aims to try and look at measures to create a cycle-friendly town for everyone and learn from other communities from across Scotland and beyond about how to encourage cycling.

Mr Laird said:

I have been delighted by the response of the community leaders, the Council and the business community. There is obviously a real appetite to see what can be done to improve cycling provision in the town and create a behavioural change so that cycling becomes easier and a more attractive choice for people going to work, school, the shops or just to have fun. We are encouraging anyone interested in local cycling to visit the Penicuik Cycling Facebook Page.

David Wardrop-White, who represents cycling on Midlothian Tourism Forum added:

This is a great initiative which I hope will really encourage people in Penicuik, Midlothian and beyond to get on their bikes and enjoy the great countryside, history and services the town has to offer. We want to make cycling as easy as possible for everyone in Penicuik.