Senior Lecturer in Transport at the University of Westminster and one of the most respected and knowledgeable women in cycling research, Dr Aldred’s work to demonstrate the benefits of investing in cycling has helped British Cycling to influence decision makers at the top of national and local government.
By influencing the government to invest in cycling and give it the priority it deserves, British Cycling – along with other sustainable transport organisations – is leading the charge to make cycling more accessible and attractive for all people.
Dr Aldred recently conducted the first survey on how adults’ views on cycle infrastructure change where children are present and has led new analysis on age and gender equity in cycle commuting, leading to the conclusion that we need to focus more on the needs and preferences of under-represented groups (including women) or we risk building for a limited existing demographic.
Commenting on British Cycling’s women’s strategy, Dr Aldred said:
“We know that millions of women are put off cycling because they simply don’t feel safe.
"The truth is that the roads are still not designed with cycling in mind and – by clearly showing politicians the value and benefits of prioritising it as a legitimate transport option – academics and advocates are making some real progress towards our aim of transforming Britain into a true cycling nation.
“Culture change cannot happen overnight but now for the first time the government has a legal obligation to come up with an investment strategy for cycling. Community and citizen support for cycling will be crucial in changing words into reality.”
Following a fantastic Women’s Tour, British Cycling is delighted to launch #WeRide week, an initiative highlighting the vast range of opportunities available to women who wish to get involved in the sport.
British Cycling’s #WeRide strategy was launched in March 2013 with the target of getting one million more women cycling regularly by 2020. A two year update published earlier this month showed that the strategy is on track with 254,000 more women now cycling, but with work still to be done to reach the one million target.
There are a number of inspirational women already out there working and taking part in the sport and we’ll be highlighting some of those case studies throughout the week.
- Caroline Foreman – Getting more women cycling more often
- Yvonne Mills – Getting more women running the sport
- Rachel Aldred – Campaigning and commuting for safer roads
- Nicky Hawker – Creating opportunities to ride and race
- Marian Lauder/Alex Russell - More women getting involved in governing the sport
- Aileen Brown – Increasing female membership
- Monica Eden – Creating a pathway that keeps women engaged
British Cycling also has a number of activities taking place during #WeRide week for any women looking to take their first steps into the sport, whether someone wants to race, coach, volunteer or get involved in race organisation - check them out here.