Why are only 23% MK cycle journeys by women?

Initial research by the Cycling Citizens MK alliance suggests only 23% of cycle journeys in MK are by women.  Volunteer researchers simply counted cyclists using redways in the last 10 days of January and found 131 male and 32 female.

“It’s a justice issue,” said Jane Whild of Voices of Women in MK, a partnership of women’s organisations to champion women’s voices to bring about change.  “Women’s equal access to cycling must be designed in to City plans.  Other research by Lime Bikes (‘Tackling the gender pedal gap’) shows only 19% of female cyclists feel sale riding alone at night and 91% face barriers to cycling.  To make progress, we must understand the barriers.”

Hazel Dean, another member of the research group, said: “For me the barrier was my confidence.  By joining the short cycle ride through CMK organised by Cycling Citizens on Thursdays, I now have the confidence to cycle around where I live.”

In partnership with MK City Council, Jane Whild has created a short online survey, https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/CyclingMK/, and wants at least 1,000 MK residents, female and male, to complete it.

Kurshida Mirza, High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in Nomination 2024-25, said: “I’d love to cycle more around Milton Keynes, but I don’t feel very confident on my bike yet.  I’m interested to see what other women are saying about why they don’t cycle”.

Cllr Jenny Wilson-Marklew, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:  “As a regular cyclist I know what some of the barriers to cycling are.  Given the Council’s goal of reducing carbon emissions, and our principle of equal access to transport facilities, we urge as many adults as possible to fill in the short survey.”

Jane Whild will give an initial report on participation in the survey at the Mayor’s Cycling Awards on 14th March.

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