ORGANISERS of a Scottish independence march have said they are “surprised and disappointed” after plans for the Yes Bikers group to lead the demonstration were blocked.

All Under One Banner (AUOB) – which is pulling together a rally in Edinburgh on October 7 – criticised Edinburgh Council for standing in the way of the pro-independence motorcycling group leading the march.

The event on Saturday was also planned as a ride in memory of Alexander “Sandy” McCracken, a Yes Biker who died after a collision with a campervan on the A87 in August.

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The march will see independence activists gather at Holyrood Park before walking up the Royal Mile and then south to the Meadows.

Plans had been for the Yes Biker group to lead the way – as happened at a similar event in 2019 – but the city council is blocking plans and, as it stands, they will have to take an alternative route.

AUOB has written to Edinburgh Council calling for a meeting, asking for their position to be changed, and saying that “arguments so far put forward against this do not stand up to scrutiny”.

John Taylor, the organiser for the Yes Bikers, said: "The Yes Bikers ride in Edinburgh leading the march for independence is on the same day as Sandy’s funeral. The ride is in his memory, and so we are finding it difficult to understand why Police Scotland and Edinburgh City Council are objecting to this and seeking to prevent it from going ahead.

“In 2019 we did the same route with the assistance of the police and it ran without any issue, with no problems from start to end. Asking us to do an alternative route compromises the safety of our bikers on open roads when others have been closed in that area.

“A large group of around 200 bikers will cause frustration with other road users. A simple permit change can sort this issue out so the ride can go ahead safely, as before in 2019."

Gordon McCrae, an organiser with AUOB, said: "We are surprised and disappointed that at this late stage Edinburgh city council and Police Scotland are objecting to the Yes Bikers joining the AUOB demonstration in Edinburgh on Saturday October 7.

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“Both the council and police have known of our plans for several months now, which are a repeat of what we did in October 2019. We do not accept these objections and have requested an emergency meeting with the council and police to resolve this matter urgently.

“AUOB and the Yes Bikers are determined to exercise our democratic right to protest and campaign for Scottish independence. We call on the wider indy movement to join us in their thousands and to support the Yes Bikers joining us on the day."

Police Scotland said the enquiry was one for Edinburgh Council to answer.

It is understood that the Yes Bikers group is liaising with officers directly.

A City of Edinburgh Council spokesperson said they had received the correspondence from AUOB and would consider their response.