THE FAMILY of a cycling pensioner tragically killed by a careless driver will lead a 3,000-strong column of cyclists as they pedal to the Scottish Parliament.
Keen cyclist Audrey Fyfe, 75, was knocked down in Edinburgh in August 2011, but the sentencing of the driver provoked outrage after he avoided a lifetime ban.
Her family, along with relatives of Andrew McNicholl, another cyclist who died on Edinburgh’s roads, will lead the the Pedal on Parliament protest to push for safety for cyclists.
They will be joined by former world champion cyclist Graeme Obree and radio presenter Grant Stott, while Olympic heroes Sir Chris Hoy and Chris Boardman have lent their support.
Before 49-year-old Gary McCourt was sentenced for careless driving over Mrs Fyfe’s death, it emerged he had knocked down and killed another cyclist in 1985.
But McCourt escaped a prison sentence and was given a five-year driving ban by the sheriff, who commented on Mrs Fyfe’s lack of a helmet.
Her widower has lodged a complaint with the Crown Office over the sentence, and cycling campaigners branded it “scandalous.”
Pedal on Parliament’s organisers now say her family will lead the column of cyclists who will ride from Edinburgh’s Meadows park to Holyrood this Sunday.
They will be joined by the family of 43-year-old insurance officer Andrew McNicholl, who was knocked down and killed in January 2012.
Organisers say they hope to rival the turnout for last year’s protest of 3,000 riders.
The bike ride has also attracted support from Sir Chris Hoy, Britain’s most decorated Olympian.
He said “As someone who has enjoyed competitive sport for many years I obviously have an interest in supporting and nurturing the cycling stars of the future.
“However, cycling isn’t just about winning medals, it’s an activity for everyone, be they cycling for sport, transport or just for fun.
Thus I believe it is incredibly important that Scotland invests in safe cycling for all.
“Unfortunately I can’t attend Pedal on Parliament 2, however, I thoroughly support the aims and objectives of Pedal on Parliament and I urge as many cyclists and non-cyclists alike to attend.”
Chris Boardman, former yellow jersey wearer in the Tour de France, said “The benefits of getting more people to cycle in terms of health and improving the places in which we live are clear.
“We need to be ambitious and set ourselves quantifiable targets to increase the number of people on bikes.
“Only then will we have a yardstick against which we can measure our every action and policy.
“This is how we go about winning gold medals at British Cycling because we know it is the only way to be successful.
“The Pedal on Parliament event is a great way for people to make sure their voices are heard on safer cycling in Scotland and I hope it is a great success.”
MSPs Jim Eadie, Alison Johnstone and Sarah Boyack will all be cycling at the protest.
Labour MP Ian Murray will also be sharing a tandem bike with Labour MSP Kez Dugdale at the event.