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A new survey has revealed the shocking level of abuse and aggression shown towards women cyclists in London by other road users. The group that commissioned it, London Cycling Campaign, say this is a prime reason why, compared to men, so few women use this inexpensive and environmentally friendly method of transport.

unlock cycling for women banner at london demoThe 2023 Women's Freedom Ride attracted over a thousand riders. Women cyclists will take to London's streets again on Sunday 3rd March, their campaign for safe cycling for women now backed up with shocking evidence from a new survey

What Stops Women Cycling in London? - a new report published this week by London Cycling Campaign (LCC) - is based on a survey of more than a thousand women cyclists. It uncovers the horrifying nature and scale of abuse that women riders regularly face and the reasons why many have given up using their bikes.

The researchers received countless reports of harassment, aggression and even physical and sexual assault.

Warning: The following short video contains very strong language.

Being able to get around safely, cheaply and independently can be life-changing, yet for far too many women, the environment is simply too hostile to choose to cycle.

What stops women cycling in London? The report

cover of what stops women cycling in london report jan 2024

In the summer of 2023, the LCC Women’s Network asked women about their experiences of cycling in London via a public survey. We wanted to understand why less than a third of London’s daily cycle trips are by women, in contrast to Dutch cities, where women make up more than half.

Based on more than 1,000 responses, the survey results show with real clarity some of the key factors that put women off cycling in London – including a shocking level of abuse and aggression from drivers, and a lack of safe cycle routes to use all year round.

It seems that abuse towards women cycling has become normalised.

Read the full report

Some of the report's key findings:

  • 93% of women surveyed said drivers had used motor vehicles to intimidate them. 77% said they experienced this at least once a month.
  • 9 out of 10 said they had experienced abuse from other road users while cycling - 63% said it was at least once a month.
  • The abuse was often verbal but included sexual harassment, physical threats, and physical and sexual assaults, such as groping or slapping women on their bikes while stopped at traffic lights.
  • Most common verbal abuse was a variant of 'Get off the road!'
  • Over 1/5th of women said they'd given up cycling, temporarily or permanently, as a result of these experiences.
  • 9 out of 10 said they would start to cycle or cycle more if they had safer cycle routes, for instance with protected cycle tracks, for their journeys.
  • Over half of women said they are forced to choose between cycling on busy roads without any safe space or through isolated, quiet or dark places for their journeys.

Calling for action!

The survey reinforces the LCC Women’s Network campaign asks to the Mayor of London, Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police and every London borough to act, urgently, on these barriers to women’s mobility and freedom - so that women can cycle all the everyday journeys they want to, for greater equality, more active lifestyles, less road danger and lower carbon emissions

Safe cycling for women: sign the petition


London Cycling Campaign

Better Streets for Enfield

Picking up in PG on the way to the Women's Freedom Ride (A report on the 2023 Freedom Ride viewed from a Palmers Green perspective)

Women's Freedom Ride 2024 - 3rd March (There will be a marshalled ride from Enfield Town and Palmers Green to the start of the Freedom Ride in Lincoln's Inn Fields - watch this space for more information)

Petition to the Mayor of London: Safe cycling for women

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