Lady_CyclingWomen in UK cities have a positive perception of cycling, yet 73% never ride a bike.

Almost three quarters (73%) of women living in seven major UK cities never ride a bike for local journeys.

Despite this, over two-thirds (68%) say their city would be a better place to live and work if more people cycled, new data reveals.

Women: reducing the gender gap‘, published by Sustrans, details women’s travel habits, views and attitudes towards cycling.

The report, which is part of the Bike Life project, is based on an ICM independent survey of over 7,700 residents living in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Greater Manchester.

The report also revealed:

  • Twice as many men as women (24% and 12% respectively) currently ride a bike at least once a week in all seven cities.
  • Differences in participation between men and women appear to be less pronounced in cities with higher overall cycling uptake. For example, in Bristol, which has the highest cycling rates of all seven cities,18% of women ride a bike at least once a week, in comparison to 32% of men.
  • Across the cities, the vast majority of women surveyed (77%) feel that cycling safety needs to be improved.

Despite these findings, almost a third (30%) who currently do not cycle say they would like to start riding. 76% of women who already cycle or want to start would find cycle lanes that are physically separated from traffic very helpful to cycle more.

The majority of women surveyed recognise cycling is good for their health and say more people cycling would have a positive impact on reducing traffic and air pollution.

The report comes out after London’s first walking and cycling tsar Will Norman, stressed that cycling will only be considered a success in the capital if it is taken up by a more diverse population. Currently, only 27% of bike riders in London are women.

Source: sustrans.org.uk