TfL has marked International Women’s Day with a campaign to encourage more women to take up cycling.
The Cycle Your City campaign will run throughout 2020 with a series of workshops and events and a programme of activity will be announced in May. Through the campaign, TfL will work with a diverse group of women and organisations to build an in-depth picture of women’s experiences of cycling across the capital.
With this project, TfL aims to:
– Inspire a change in perceptions about riding a bike by highlighting women’s personal stories about the benefits of cycling
– Commission new research and carry out engagement to better understand the barriers to cycling faced by women
– Establish what further work TfL can do to tackle these barriers
Feedback from Cycle Your City will be used to inform TfL policy that will encourage and enable more women to cycle in the future. The reasons why many women choose not to cycle are well-acknowledged, including the fear of being involved in a collision, concerns around too much traffic and not feeling confident. There are also less well-understood concerns, such as lack of representation within the cycling industry, experiences of harassment and hostility, and negative public perceptions. TfL has said it recognises that these issues need further exploration.
A TfL survey undertaken by 1,792 women across London has revealed that 60% of female cyclists would be encouraged to cycle more if they saw more women of their age and background cycling, this is particularly true of women under 25. For women who currently don’t cycle, 64% said they would cycle if they saw more people like them.
In response, TfL has launched a search for ambassadors who can help inspire other women through cycling in 2020. It is seeking a range of voices to share their personal stories about cycling in London.
“We are proud that thousands more Londoners each year are discovering the many benefits of cycling, from better health to reducing carbon emissions,” said Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport. “We are doing everything we can to make cycling safer and our growing network of Cycleways is enabling more Londoners of all backgrounds and abilities to cycle safely and with confidence.
“But as these new findings show, more work still needs to be done, particularly when it comes to getting more women on a bike. I am delighted that TfL is launching this important new campaign which will enable us to address the barriers that are holding women in London back from cycling.”
Christina Calderato, TfL’s head of transport strategy and planning, added: “We invest heavily in making cycling in London safer and easier for everyone. Despite lots of improvement, women are still persistently underrepresented in London’s cycling community. 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.”