We did it!
On Sunday 5 March, over 1,000 women and their allies came to Marble Arch for the start of the LCC Women’s Freedom Ride, despite the chilly weather. After speeches from Will Norman, the Mayor’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner and others, we took a circular route around central London and flooded normally hostile roads like Piccadilly and The Strand with our bikes, sashes and one loud boombox, guided by our ride leader Claira and a team of marshals. It was a fantastic atmosphere that got lots of attention on social media and coverage by BBC London News. If you were one of those who came along, thank you for making it such a spectacular day!
Now we have a favour to ask: please sign our petition for the Mayor to make cycling safe for women in London.
We were blown away by the number of women who joined the ride, from all backgrounds and walks of life, and the passion they showed on the day. Led rides came in from most London boroughs – even outer London boroughs like Enfield, Redbridge and Hillingdon – organised by LCC local groups, Cycle Sisters, JoyRiders, Londra Bisiklet Kulübü and others. There were children as young as five on their own bikes and an 82-year-old woman on a Lime Bike who came with her daughter.
Will Norman, the Mayor’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, was clearly impressed by the turnout. The first words of his speech were, “Wow! Look how many people are here!… It’s fantastic to see how many are here from across the whole city… it shows how much energy, passion and mainstream support there is for the changes we’re making to our city.”
There is strong demand for women to feel safe cycling in London, yet only one third of cycling trips in London are made by women, despite women doing more cycling trips than men in many global cities. Women want to cycle, women can often gain freedoms from cycling and women do cycle (even in near arctic conditions, it turns out). Our LCC Women’s Freedom Ride has clearly tapped into that. It was not just a ride, but the start of a new campaign that is calling on the Mayor to make London a city where any woman is safe to cycle. And where by 2030 as many women as men do cycle. The next, important step is our petition – please sign it and share it widely. This is our ask…
We want the Mayor of London to ensure cycling is an inclusive mode of transport that men and women use equally, across London, by 2030, by:
Once you’ve signed and shared the petition, the most helpful thing you can do for this campaign is to get involved! We need more women members across London, getting involved in their local LCC groups and bringing their perspective on the streets in their area. You can also find out more about the LCC Women’s Network and get regular updates on the campaign by signing up to our newsletter.
And next year, we’re already planning the LCC Women’s Freedom Ride again. We’ll keep running it, we hope, until we have equal numbers of men and women cycling in London. And hopefully that won’t be too far off!
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