Nine Thousand Voices Call for Safer Cycling
Posted: 20th January 2010 | Source: Sustrans
British women meet Transport Minister to ask for urgent action
Nine thousand people told Transport Minister Sadiq Khan on Tuesday 19 January that they want Britain's roads to be safer to cycle on.
Female cyclists Terry Cassels from Essex and Rachael Wood from London represented women across the UK who feel prevented from cycling because they don't feel safe enough.
They visited the Transport Minister at the House of Commons to deliver the ‘Motion for Women' petition - nine thousand signatures of support for the urgent need for safer cycling conditions, gathered by sustainable transport charity Sustrans.
Rachael Wood, a female cyclist in London, said: ‘Whenever I talk to other people about cycling, particularly women, I get the same story - they just don't feel safe enough on the roads. That really has to change if we are to encourage more people to travel by bike.'
The petition - backed by organisations including Mind, the National Federation of Women's Institutes, the Townswomen's Guilds and Women in Rural Enterprise - was launched in September in response to research from Sustrans that showed a staggering 79 per cent of women in Britain never cycle at all.
Not feeling safe enough was revealed as the most common reason why women won't cycle, and most believe that more cycle lanes separated entirely from all other traffic is what's needed to encourage more women onto their bikes.
Melissa Henry of Sustrans said: ‘Women have told us that they don't cycle because they don't feel safe enough. It's great to have all these signatures backing our call for safer cycling, but this is just the start. Governments now have to take all these voices seriously and make changes across the country that will mean more people can choose to make everyday journeys by bike, without feeling unsafe.'
The petition was also presented in Wales to the National Assembly for Wales and in Edinburgh to Stewart Stevenson, Scotland's Transport Minister.
Related: Why are fewer women cycling? Take British Cycling's online survey - get involved and make a difference.