Almost three-quarters of women in UK cities ‘never cycle’, survey finds

Now, sustainable transport charity Sustrans wants to close the cycling gender gap

Sarah Young
Tuesday 12 June 2018 13:23
Comments

Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of women living in major UK cities never ride bikes for local journeys, a new study has found.

This is despite more than two-thirds (68 per cent) saying their city would be a better place to live and work if more people cycled.

As a result, Sustrans – a sustainable transport charity that makes it easier for people to walk and cycle - is calling for more dedicated routes to encourage people to ride bikes.

“Most of our cities are failing to design roads and streets for women to cycle,” the charity says.

The report, which is part of the Bike Life project, is based on an independent survey of more than 7,700 residents living in Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Greater Manchester.

It found that twice as many men as women cycle at least once a week with just 27 per cent of women saying they felt safe while riding a bike in their city.

“A city that has a diverse and inclusive population of people riding a bike is a city for everyone,” said Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans.

“51 per cent of the UK population is female, yet most of our cities are failing to design roads and streets for women to cycle.

“Evidence from the UK and beyond shows that when dedicated space for riding a bike is provided, alongside engagement programmes, the gender gap in cycling can be eliminated.

“Governments at all levels need to listen to women’s voices and invest in a network of dedicated cycling routes and training so that everyone feels comfortable and confident to ride a bicycle, regardless of gender, age and disability.”

The “Women: reducing the gender gap” report has set out a number of recommendations for local authorities to create a more diverse and inclusive culture of cycling.

These include planning and delivery of protected cycling routes on main roads, training to enable more women to travel by bike, and integrating gender into different stages of consultation.

“We know there is substantial demand for cycling infrastructure among women and other currently under-represented groups,” says Dr Rachel Aldred, reader in transport at Westminster University.

“In the Netherlands, women cycle a higher proportion of journeys than men do, showing that a good cycling environment works for both women's and men's trips.

“Women too often have limited mobility: they're less likely than men to have access to cars and have on average lower incomes, so struggle to pay for transport more often. Enabling women to cycle can open up opportunities and help make our society more gender equal and inclusive."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in