Women's Tour comes to London

Sadiq Khan, Val Shawcross and Olympian Katie Archibald were at Tower Bridge this morning to announce London will host the Women's Tour for the first time. 

It was announced today that the Women’s Tour will be coming to London. The finale for this, the biggest professional women’s cycle race in the UK, will be held on 11thJune accompanied by parades and events to showcase cycling in London.

It’s fantastic when events like this celebrate the amazing women in cycling. But it begs an important question:  why are there so few women cycling for everyday journeys like commuting and the school run on London’s roads?

About twice as many men cycle as women in London. And although the number of women cycling is creeping up, the gender balance is nowhere near to that of the Netherlands, where 55% of people cycling are female.

That’s not good enough, so LCC is working to translate the enthusiasm and excitement surrounding cycling events like the Women’s Tour into real change on our roads.

The best ways to make everyone feel safe enough to cycle on London’s roads are segregated cycle lanes, quieter roads and reducing traffic speeds. And this is especially true for women thinking about cycling. They are all proven methods to encourage people to start cycling, or to cycle more often, by making the experience safer and more enjoyable.

For example, wide, segregated cycle lanes that accommodate all types of bikes make trickier trips simpler. Adapted bikes, cargo bikes, bikes with tag-along trailers all make carrying home the shopping or taking the kids to school much simpler. It’s not a gender specific intervention, but given that the bulk of caregiving still falls to women in this country, creating space for cycling that is inclusive of the everyday journeys that people make, you have the happy effect of boosting the number of women cycling.

We believe that to make it easier and safer for more women to cycle in London, we need to make it safer and easier for everyone to cycle in London. 

Do this, and you will see people of all ages, genders and backgrounds taking the healthier, low emission option to cycle for their everyday, local journeys.

If you have any additional ideas or suggestions for getting more women cycling in London, please let me know at fran@lcc.org.uk.