The VeloCity conference – 21 years old this year – has attracted 500+ delegates from around the world. It’s being staged jointly by Glasgow and Edinburgh. It’s on all this week – except for Wednesday when delegates are being let loose for the day to sample local cycle rides.
Yesterday, the conference was opened by Scottish transport minister Sarah Boyack.
She welcomed the opportunity for cycling in Scotland to take its place on the world stage.
Boyack said pedal power was at the heart of a wide range of Scottish Executive initiatives, from the Learn to Let Go travel awareness campaign to the regeneration of Scotland’s canals and towpaths for leisure use.
The Minister told delegates that partnership working with local authorities and cycling interest groups to deliver action on the ground was helping the Executive meet its tough targets to increase the number of Scots who cycle regularly.
"Thanks to Velo-city, the eyes of the cycling world and beyond are firmly focussed on Scotland this week. It’s a great chance to showcase our cycling achievements and show the world what we have got to offer.
"The Scottish Executive is committed to placing sustainable development at the heart of our transport and environment policies and cycling has a key role to play in this. It’s not just fun and a great way to keep fit but is also an affordable and environmentally-friendly mode of transport that is available to people across Scotland.
"We are working to raise the profile of cycling, promoting safe cycling for young people and ensuring that the infrastructure – in terms of safer routes – is in place. I firmly believe that there is a role for cycling in every area of Scotland, both rural and urban.
"Cycling also has huge potential for tourism in Scotland. It’s a great way to see the country’s magnificent scenery and the Executive-supported National Cycle Network is making it easier to get around Scotland using off-road tracks and rural routes."