A host of famous cyclists – including Laura Kenny, Lizzie Deignan and Sir Chris Hoy – are backing a campaign which aims to get one million more women on bikes by 2020.
British Cycling’s ‘One in a Million’ campaign is setting out to ‘narrow the vast gender cycling gap’ and ‘create a cultural shift which normalises cycling for everyone’.
A survey published as part of the campaign shows there is a ‘vast disparity’ in confidence levels among women and men, with 64% of women saying they don’t feel confident riding on the roads – compared with 38% of males.
72% of women feel there should be safer cycle routes, with 63% saying the current infrastructure does not make them feel safe; 66% have concerns over driver behaviour.
Further research also shows that 69% of frequent cyclists in Britain are men, compared to countries like Denmark where male cyclists only account for 47% of the total.
36% of women – equating to 9,720,000 people – say they would like to cycle more frequently.
Julie Harrington, chief executive of British Cycling, said: “Aside from reaching our million women target we want to create a cultural shift which normalises cycling for everyone – so that an equal number of women to men are riding bikes in this country.
“Cycling is increasingly being understood as a fundamental part of the solution when it comes to issues of public health and air quality; however change will not come unless people feel safe on the roads and we know this disproportionately affects women.
“We want women to know that cycling is safe and there are plenty of easy and accessible options available for people wanting to get started.”
Sir Chris Hoy, an ambassador for the campaign, said: “Cycling, in all its forms – whether it’s commuting, competing, coaching or as a career – must be just as appealing to women as it is to men. And it’s really important that everyone involved in cycling takes responsibility for this.
“These heightened negative perceptions of confidence and safety on a bike amongst women are concerning as this is worsening the cycling gender gap and preventing women from getting on bikes altogether.”