Thousands of cyclists are set to converge on the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh next weekend to lobby for an eight-point manifesto that includes a call for cycling to be integrated into local transport strategies as well as improved road traffic law and enforcement.

In 2014, an estimated 4,500 people took part and this year's event on April 25 rallies at noon at the Meadows before riding - and walking - en masse on closed roads to Holyrood. There will also be feeder rides departing from various towns and cities across Scotland.

Here Kim Harding, one the co-founders of Pedal on Parliament, discusses why the campaign is so important.

How did Pedal on Parliament first come about?

It started as conversation on Twitter between three friends, it was just after the Times had started their Cities Fit for Cycling campaign and there were plans for a mass protest in London.

We felt that there needed to be something in Scotland, so we decided to invite people to join us on a ride to Holyrood which we called Pedal on Parliament (POP).

What are the key goals or objectives behind it?

We have written our own manifesto which has eight points:

1 There should be proper funding for cycling (at least 5 per cent of transport budget)

2 Cycling should be designed into Scotland's roads in line with best international standards

3 Safer speeds where people live, work and play

4 Cycling should be integrated into local transport strategies

5 Sensible road traffic law and enforcement

6 Reduce the risk of HGVs to cyclists and pedestrians

7 A strategic and joined-up programme of training for all road users

8 Solid research on cycling to support policy-making

Although our manifesto is primarily about cycling, many of these changes will benefit those who don't cycle as well which is why we introduced Pedestrian on Parliament in 2014.

How has it grown from the inaugural event in 2012?

When we were planning the first POP in 2012, we had to fill out a form to let City of Edinburgh Council know what we intended to do. One of the questions was "how many people do you expect to be on the march?" We had no way of knowing, so I suggested: "put down 300 and if we get 50 we'll be doing well."

Everyone was taken by surprise when 3,000 people turned up from across Scotland. We even had people cycling from Aberdeen to be a part of it.

POP has grown year on year: we know of at least one person who is planning to ride from Elgin to join us in Edinburgh. This year there is a satellite event in Aberdeen called Pedal on Marischal.

Did you expect back then to be holding a fourth Pedal on Parliament?

No, when we started out we thought it would be a one-off event and we had no idea how much it was going to change our lives.

Describe the ultimate vision behind the campaign?

To make Scotland a cycle-friendly nation where upwards of 10 per cent of all journeys are taken by bicycle. You only have to look across the North Sea to see what cycle-friendly nations look like, not just the usual suspects, the Netherlands and Denmark, but also Germany, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and Finland.

The Finns are an interesting case: 20 years ago Finland was the sickest country in Western Europe. By encouraging active travel, Finland now has 10 per cent cycling modal share - despite their harsh and dark winters. If they can do it, why can't we?

Have you seen any marked change since you began campaigning?

When Pedal on Parliament started, spending on cycling as a means transport was in decline. It has since stabilised and, perhaps, started to increase. We have been told by those in a position to know that this as a direct result of POP. When so many people turn out those in power take notice.

It's also becoming more politically possible to reallocate road space to bikes and pedestrians, something that local politicians have long shied away from.

In East Dunbartonshire, for example, they are converting a four lane road to three lanes to create a two-way cycle track. This would have been unthinkable four years ago.

What plans do you have for Pedal on Parliament 2015?

It will be much the same as in previous years: gather on the Meadows in Edinburgh at noon, then ride (or walk) to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

Once everyone has arrived, we'll hold a minute's silence to remember those who have died on the roads. This will be followed by a few speeches including one politician from each party (they will be restricted to two minutes each so it won't last too long).

And generally have a bit of a party - I'm told there will be the odd cake.

Who do you expect to come along?

Among the things that makes POP so special is that it attracts people of all ages from toddlers on balance bike to pensioners, and from all walks of life, including many people who don't cycle regularly, but wish they could - there's a lot of bikes that look as if they have been very recently dug out of a shed.

Emphasising the fact that cycling can be for everyone if the conditions are right, we should have a good showing from Free Wheel North, the Glasgow charity that provides adapted bikes for people who need them.

And once again, we'll have families to the front. There's really nothing better than seeing a mass of kids on bikes taking over the Royal Mile. We say that "we are everyone" and we really mean that. There's no distinct group called "cyclists". We are just people.

For more information, visit