Aviva, sponsor of the Women's Tour and the upcoming Tour of Britain, has polled 2,000 people and found that 18% of men used their bike to commute, compared with 9% of women.
When asked what puts them off cycling to work, women were much more worried about the safety aspect (41%) and their fitness levels (25%) compared to men (28% and 13%). Needing the car later in the day (9%) and having no showers at work (16%) were other reasons for women leaving their bikes at home. Both men and women had similar concerns about the distance they live from work and cycling in bad weather.
The gender disparity of the poll data was reflected in Aviva's own employees. Almost three times as many male employees have taken advantage of the cycle to work scheme compared to women.
Two in five of thew women surveyed (41%) admitted they have not ridden a bike for over two years, compared to just over a quarter (28%) of men. One in ten women (9%) said they had been inspired to take up cycling regularly after watching events such as the Aviva Women’s Tour and the Olympics.
Lindsay Forster, UK & Ireland customer marketing director at Aviva, said: “Bike to Work Schemes have really taken off across the UK, but now we need action to encourage more women to cycle to work. It’s great that British Cycling’s initiative to encourage one million more women to cycle regularly by 20203 is going so well and I hope the Aviva Women’s Tour earlier this year gave added support. It also helps that high profile female athletes such as Victoria Pendleton, Laura Trott and Dani King have really put women’s cycling on the map.
“Cycling has numerous benefits including improving people’s health and wellbeing, keeping commuting costs down alongside being better for the environment. I hope more women will be encouraged to give cycling a try.”
Londoners and East Anglians are the most likely to cycle to work, with almost one in five (18%) opting to do this, while those in the East Midlands are the least likely, at 10%.
Aviva is sponsor of the Aviva Women’s Tour, The Aviva Tour of Britain (6-13 September 2015) and the Aviva Tour Ride (4th October 2015).