Advocacy papers

Title: Women: reducing the gender gap

Organisation: Sustrans
Date uploaded: 5th July 2018
Date published/launched: June 2018

This report – based on a survey of 7,700 people living in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Greater Manchester – details women’s travel habits, views and attitudes towards cycling.

The report finds that while 73% of women living in these cities never ride a bike for local journeys, 68% say their city would be a better place to live and work if more people cycled.

24% of men ride a bike at least once a week, compared to just 12% of women.

Sustrans says the gap in cycling participation levels between men and women is smaller in cities with higher overall cycling uptake – such as Bristol where 18% of women ride a bike at least once a week, compared to 32% of men.

77% of the women surveyed feel that cycling safety needs to be improved, while 59% view cycling as dangerous or unsafe.

However, 30% of those who currently do not cycle say they would like to start, recognising cycling as good for their health – as well as its positive impact on reducing traffic and air pollution.

76% of women who already cycle, or want to start, say that cycle lanes which are physically separated from traffic would encourage them to cycle more.

Based on these findings, the report sets out three recommendations to help local authorities create a more diverse and inclusive culture of cycling:

• Plan and deliver protected cycling routes on main roads and orbital routes reflecting local journeys
• Introduce training and engagement programmes to enable more women to travel by bike
• Integrate gender into different stages of consultation, design, delivery and monitoring of new schemes

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