Tuesday, 1 September 2009
We know it's stylish, but is it safe?
This month sustainable transport charity Sustrans launches its petition for women cyclists.
We all know cycling in London is one of the quickest and most stylish ways to get around. But is it safe? Sadly many women think not. Statistics from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents do show that men are far more likely to be involved in cycling accidents than women. But this could simply be because most cyclists are male. Whatever the statistics show, it is vital women feel safe on the roads. At the moment, most women say they do not.
According to the team at Sustrans most British women just don't believe the roads are safe enough for them to cycle on. A survey of more than 1,000 women found 79 per cent do not cycle at all, and road safety was the biggest factor putting them off. A total of 67 per cent of respondents said there should be more dedicated cycle lanes separate from other traffic.
The petition will call for the government to swing into action and make cycling in Britain safer for women. The Motion for Women petition will be live until the end of November and has the backing of organisations Mind and the WI.
Melissa Henry, comms director at Sustrans, says: 'Women are telling us in no uncertain terms they don't feel the roads are safe enough for them to cycle on. 79 per cent of women do not cycle at all. But women are also telling us they desperately want that situation to change. The desire to cycle, and enjoy all the benefits that cycling brings, is becoming a priority.'
You can add your support to the petition at Sustrans' site for women, Bike Belles.
Although it is not essential, a helmet can help you feel safer on the roads. Wearing a helmet is very much a matter of personal choice, but for those who do choose to wear one, we can recommend the wonderful range from Bern which are designed to cushion the head against small impacts more effectively than ordinary helmets. It helps that they look fantastic too! Our current favourite is this Muse Hard Hat with Graphic.