Please join us on a short, brightly lit, cycle ride on 10 December, to mark the end of the UN’s 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. We will be riding to highlight the need for night time cycling infrastructure in Edinburgh that is safe and fit for purpose for women and girls. Bikes are speedy, efficient, and contribute to our mental and physical wellbeing, but many of us don’t feel safe in traffic and on isolated off-roads paths, especially at night. We must be able to move around the city easily and confidently on cycles. We will depart Middle Meadow Walk at 7.30pm for a short circuit around central Edinburgh, returning to the Meadows by 8.45pm. All are welcome, but we are asking men not to take the lead. If you don’t have a bicycle, please let us know, and we might be able to help. If you are not able to join us on the 10th, we would be grateful to receive your support by email, on social media (see below), or in a more formal statement. We are asking our local politicians and other public figures to support these three policies:· The prioritisation of safe and comfortable cycle infrastructure, protected or off-carriageway, and on well-lit direct routes · Well-signed routes which are permeable and always have a way out, not fenced/ walled on both sides, and with good connections to other streets · Routes which use natural surveillance where possible, for example streets with high footfallWe need to reshape the city so that women and girls feel safe, comfortable and are able to travel without fear. We have organised this ride in part because women and girls are told to keep themselves safe when travelling in public and to alter their behaviours to reduce the risk of being attacked. Men are not routinely asked to do this, but women are often blamed if they are a victim of crime or harassment. This is unfair. Our political leadership has a responsibility for planning and shaping public spaces to ensure women and girls are able to travel around our city safely and comfortably. We acknowledge that there has been movement in this area. However, we are concerned about slow progress on infrastructure development and call on the all levels of government to prioritise and support direct, protected on-road routes. Women should not be faced with difficult choices between dangerous traffic or the risk of abuse or assault on off-road paths. Councillors must recognize that many women are afraid to cycle in the city, especially in the dark. We know that many women switch away from cycling in the winter because they don’t feel safe on the roads or on the off-road paths. This prevents us from fully participating in the civic life of Edinburgh and/or forces us to use cars, if we have them. Of course, the city’s off-road shared paths are important and valuable, particularly during the daylight hours – providing vital access to green space and wildlife away from traffic. However, incidents are regularly reported on many of these paths and many women will not use them in the dark – or if they do – it is with anxiety. Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/425192265682590 Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/…/light-up-the-night-cycle…