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Highland campaigners from Kidical Mass call on councils to make streets safer for cycling after many children received bikes as Christmas presents

By Val Sweeney

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A Kidical Mass cycle recently took place in Inverness.
A Kidical Mass cycle recently took place in Inverness.

Campaigners are calling for safer streets for cycling after many children received bikes as Christmas presents but do not feel safe to get out on the roads.

Parents and children from Kidical Mass around the country are looking for their councils to take action to enable more people to cycle by providing safe spaces to cycle, by installing segregated cycle lanes and closing roads to through traffic, to school streets and funded bikeability in schools.

Kidical Mass groups comprise parents and children who take part in regular bike rides to raise awareness of the barriers that people, in particular children, face to cycling.

They say the rides benefit all members of the community from wheelchair users to people with visual impairments.

Kat Heath, a founding member of Kidical Mass Inverness, said the group was started after the council voted to remove spaces people were using as cycle paths and made it more dangerous to cycle in the city.

“We want segregated, connected, direct cycle paths and for walking, wheeling and cycling to become the default options for short journeys,” she said.

“The rides are a really fun way to show demand for active travel while having a great time and increasing your cycling skills.”

The next one is on New Year’s Day, with an online element.

Beth (12), of Inverness, is an avid participant of the cycles.

“Bikes are good for the community because you are able to talk to more people when you are on a bike,” she said.

During the Covid-19 restrictions, there was a significant spike in cycling because the roads were quieter.

Campaigners say this could be continued if councils invest in infrastructure such as segregated protected cycle lanes and widened pavements.

Anyone wanting to find more information about their local Kidical Mass group or to join the next ride can do so via Facebook or Twitter.

What's it like to cycle where you live? Are there improvements you would like to see? Email us at newsdesk@hnmedia.co.uk

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