Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Women want cycle paths

An interesting story about a petition which was handed into the transport minister here in the UK signed by 9000 women.
The Motion for Women was launched in September in response to research from sustainable transport charity Sustrans that showed 79 percent of women in Britain never cycle.
'Not feeling safe' was the most common reason for not cycling cited in the Sustrans survey, with a majority believing that more segregated cycle lanes are needed.
Many womens organisations were consulted including  the charity Mind, the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, the Townswomen’s Guilds and Women in Rural Enterprise.

What is really concerning are the responses on the Bikemagic site, most I assume from experienced cyclists. They range from "Personally I don't think cycle lanes are the answer.

Cycle lanes do nothing to address the problem of wreckless, irresponsible drivers, or cyclists who don't concentrate or improve their bike skills. In fact once we are all shoved into a cycling lane they think that is problem solved ignoring the fact that - people park in them, they get full of rubbish, cars drive in them anyway, lull cyclists into a false sense of security etc etc. By the way I am a woman cyclist."
Through "It's not about the roads - personally I'd prefer they sort out potholes than provide cycle lanes - but about how to deal with riding in traffic"
To "cyclelanes in my experiance actually make things worse! "
What chance do we have to improve the facilities when cyclists themselves are so against them? You don't hear motorists saying they don't want roads!


  1. Your post hits the nail on the head. High quality cycle paths are the only proven way to provide the subjective safty needed to encourage new people to cycle, they are also the only way to give parents the confidence to let their children cycle. The internet forums/cycle clubs/cycle lobby groups seem to be full of lycra clad idiots who refuse to accept that new cyclists will not ride on roads that are filled with HGVs and lunatic car drivers. They seem to think that if they bleet on enough about cycle training people will lose their fears. They are playing into the hands of the road lobby because the vehicular cycling policy costs nothing and keeps cycling numbers down. It is a nightmare and I just hope the oil runs out faster than predicted, as this is probably the only thing that will bring about real change in the UK.


  2. More bicycle lanes will bring more cyclists, which means more drivers will themselves be cyclists and thus think about their responsibility towards cyclists.

    From one of the comments you quote, it seems that one reason that they do not want is the lack of maintenance for the lanes, which is definitely a problem.

    Rasmus Jensen

  3. People who think that a comprehensive network of car free paths for people to cycle to shops, schools or workplaces is a practical policy in this country are living in cloud cuckoo land.

  4. So George I may as well give up writing anything now? Yes it does seem unlikely at the present moment but if we don't do something the numbers cycling will just decline even more.
    If the same attitude had been taken in the Netherlands nothing would have happened.

  5. A car free path here or there is a practical proposition. However for everyday journeys people will have to share the road with motorists.
    That's why I back slower traffic speeds where people live. Also for cyclists to take a "vehicular" attitude when sharing the road with motorists.

  6. Also to make the general purpose roads more cycle friendly. E.g. tightening roundabouts so motorists can't go very fast round them, so making it easier for cyclists to join the main flow to get round them. Cutting the number of lanes on a road so that there's more room for motorists to overtake cyclists etc.