Women in Rural Enterprise
Supporting Women in Business
British women and Sustrans in an urgent safety plea to governments - 10/20/2009
Melissa Henry, Sustrans’ Communications Director, said: ‘Women are telling us in no uncertain terms that they don’t feel the roads are safe enough for them to cycle on. Their response so far to the woefully inadequate provisions for cyclists in Britain has been simple; they don’t cycle. In fact, 79 per cent of women do not cycle at all.’
‘But, women are also telling us that they desperately want that situation to change. The desire to cycle, and to enjoy all the benefits that cycling brings, is becoming a priority for women. We need to make it a priority for governments too and push for real changes in the way our villages, towns and cities are planned. Now women have 90 days to register their support so we can ensure their voices are heard across Britain.’
Some of the vital changes that women believe are necessary include the creation of more cycle lanes that are separated from all other vehicles - 67 per cent of women in the Sustrans poll believe this would encourage more women to travel by bike [note 1].
Sustrans’ ‘Motion for Women’ petition will be open for 90 days from 1 September. Every voice will count, as all signatures will be presented to Government in December. Women are asked to add their support at www.bikebelles.org.uk then circulate to all the women in their lives who deserve a safer space for cycling.
Sustrans is already leading the way for positive change as part of its year of activities to encourage more women into the saddle. Women’s experiences of shopping for bikes and accessories, gathered via the bike belles website, is currently being used to inform parts of Britain’s bike industry to help them better cater for women’s needs.
Further information about Sustrans, including other news releases and detailed online route mapping, is available through our website: www.sustrans.org.uk
1. In a BMRB survey of 1,000 British women commissioned by Sustrans in February 2009, 67 per cent of women said that cycle lanes completely separated from traffic would encourage women to cycle more. 33 per cent wanted to see cycle lanes clear of all vehicles except buses. 21 per cent wanted to see 20 mph speed limits widely introduced and 16 per cent wanted cycle training to be available where they lived.
· Sustrans is the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity. Its vision is a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment. It is achieving this through innovative but practical solutions to the UK’s transport challenges.
· Sustrans’ flagship project, the National Cycle Network, is now around 12,000 miles and runs within one mile of 55 per cent of the UK population. During 2008 a total of 386 million trips were made on the Network. There are around 2,500 volunteer rangers helping to look after the National Cycle Network.
· Throughout 2009 Sustrans is encouraging more women to cycle. Our website www.bikebelles.org.uk has advice for women on what to wear, where to go, how to get started and a specially recruited women’s panel are sharing ideas and experiences. The thoughts and concerns of women, gathered throughout the year, will be used to inform our approach to UK governments with proposals on how to help more women get out and about on bikes, to the benefit of their health, the environment and our economy.
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