TfL launches campaign to encourage more women to cycle

To mark International Women’s Day, which took place yesterday, TfL is launching a campaign to encourage more women to take up cycling.

According to TfL’s Customer Pulse Survey, although three quarters of women in the capital know how to ride a bike, only 13% currently cycle.

Another survey by the transport body, undertaken by 1,729 women across London revealed that 60% of female cyclists would be encouraged to cycle more if they saw more women of their background and age on their bikes, especially for those aged under 25. And for women who don’t cycle, 64% said they would if they saw more people like them.

As part of the project, TfL has launched a search for ambassadors to help inspire other women through cycling in 2020.

“Despite lots of improvement, women are still persistently underrepresented in London’s cycling community,” said Christina Calderato, TfL’s Head of Transport Strategy and Planning. “It’s clear we need to change that, so they can access the range of benefits that cycling can bring.

“We need fresh thinking, which is why we’re launching a campaign to work with women who cycle along with those who don’t, to better understand the challenges they face. Their feedback will inform our decision-making to ensure every Londoner can cycle in our city.”

Ambassadors will be connected to campaign partners through the scheme who can deliver free training, mentoring and experiences, such as building their skills on the road or training on how to fix a puncture.

Named Cycle Your City, TfL’s campaign will run throughout 2020 and include a series of workshops and events, with a programme of activity announced in May. Throughout the campaign, TfL will work with a diverse group of women and organisations to build an in-depth picture of women’s experiences across the capital.

The project will aim to change perception about riding a bike by highlighting women’s personal stories about the benefits of cycling, and will commission new research and engagement to better understand the barriers to cycling women face.

Feedback from Cycle Your City will be used to inform TfL policy which will be implemented to encourage more women to cycle in the future.

New research shows that where TfL has invested in new high-quality cycling routes, two thirds of women feel safer and more confident cycling on the capital’s streets; a clear call, then, for greater investment in safer cycling infrastructure. This seems in contrast, however, with the latest Government pledge to provide cycling infrastructure for the whole of England, which would give the country’s 51 city status areas under five miles of lanes each if divided evenly.

Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “We are doing everything we can to make cycling safer and our growing network of Cycleways is enabling more Londoners of all background and abilities to cycle safely and with confidence.

“But as these findings show, more work still needs to be done, particularly when it comes to getting more women on a bike.”

 

Hayley Everett

Multimedia Reporter

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