Cyclists call on the ‘Cooncil’ to get Moooving

Cycle campaigners frustrated at dangerous crossings are planning a protest ride with a difference on Sunday 28th of April as they they take to the streets of Dumfries dressed as cows for a tour of the worst crossings for both pedestrians and cyclists. The fancy dress protest draws attention to the fact that while dairy cows get crossings of the A75 – or even their own bridges – people on bike or on foot are often left dashing through a gap in busy traffic, or else having to wait ages for the green man.


Cycling Dumfries has joined forces with national group Pedal on Parliament to hold this ‘Pop-Up Pop’ event as part of a full weekend of cycling action co-ordinated by Pedal on Parliament (PoP), which is campaigning to make Scotland a cycle-friendly country. Pedal on Parliament  traditionally hold an annual mass ride to Holyrood to protest the need for better cycling provision, but are focusing on local protests this year, aimed at improvements that could be made by local councils.


Cycling Dumfries have been campaigning for improved crossings since the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary was announced, and the council refused to put in a signalised (toucan) crossing to connect up the Maxwelltown Cycle Path with the route to the new hospital, even though this means hospital staff and visitors crossing a 60mph road. Other problematic crossings include the one at Dock Park, which is too narrow to accommodate the adaptive bikes used by Dumfries’s recently opened inclusive cycling hub, Buddies’ Bike Barn.


Sally Hinchcliffe, Convenor of Cycling Dumfries, said “Dumfries has the beginnings of a good cycling network but it’s not well joined up. The council has a strategy to increase the number of people walking and cycling, but when it comes to crossing busy roads, then it all falls apart. Able bodied confident cyclists might be able to nip through a gap in the traffic but this is much harder for children or older people. Cyclists and pedestrians are the lifeblood of the town – we simply don’t have enough parking for everyone to drive everywhere all the time, and it’s time the council started treating them as such.”


Buddies, who run all-ability cycling using Dock Park said, “Our members find using the crossing into Dock Park stressful and difficult, especially if using trikes or the side-by-side tandems. A trip to Dock Park on Cycle Way 7 is easy access from town for those with mixed abilities. Once at the park, members are able to use the facilities in an inclusive way and then head home. Buddies’ members love the freedom of accessing and riding independently in the park, but it takes up to ten minutes  to cross St Michael’s bridge at Dockhead as often only one bike fits the crossing whilst other members are then kept waiting for the repeat cycle of lights. This raises potential safety issues as people with disabilities are kept waiting at the crossing and groups waiting to cross with unusual cycles could cause a distraction for motorists.”



The ‘coos’ will gather at the Bandstand at Dock Park at 11am on Sunday 28th April for a lighthearted fancy dress tour of the town’s worst crossings (a safer shorter route will be available for those who prefer it).  They will then assemble at the Council Offices at 1pm to ask officials and councillors to listen to their concerns. The group are also running a costume-making afternoon from 1:30 on Saturday 20th April at Buddies Bike Barn on the Friars Vennel for anyone who doesn’t already have a cow costume.

Latest Articles