The Cycling Embassy of Great Britain has issued an open letter to cycling minister Robert Goodwill, stating opposition to his comment on "helmet hair" given at the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s meeting on Monday, and has invited him to their AGM in July. Goodwill had stated that his wife didn’t cycle because she was afraid of helmet hair.
A statement from the cycling campaign group said the minister’s comment was "uninformed" and "anecdotal."
Embassy campaigner Sally Hinchcliffe said: “We at the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain were, like many others, shocked that such uninformed views could still be articulated by a minister who has now been responsible for cycling since late 2013."
She added: "The evidence is clear that if we want to see greater diversity in cycling then we have to focus on the environment we are asking people to cycle in.
Robert Goodwill says he will consider KPIs but we need to know why women don't want to cycle to work. His wife says a helmet spoils her hair
— APPCG (@allpartycycling) May 23, 2016
The open letter states that Goodwill has a "worrying unfamiliarity with the weight of evidence" on the barriers to cycling.
"As minister with responsibility for cycling, we would have hoped that you would be better briefed in this area," states the letter, going on to invite him to the campaign group’s AGM to be held in Cambridge in July.
"You may be interested to learn that Cambridge, the city in the UK with the highest everyday cycling levels, is also the one with the highest proportion of women cycling … We would warmly invite both you and your wife to attend if you would like to see this for yourselves."