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"Get off the road, b*tch!"

New London Cycling Campaign Women's Network report reveals shocking levels of abuse faced by women cycling

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9/10 women cycling face abuse

LCC’s Women’s Network has published the results of a survey of over 1,000 women who cycle in London about their experiences, with a report and hard-hitting video illustrating the gendered abuse women in London face while cycling. The report was launched on 16 January 2024 at a panel discussion including Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, and Ruth Cadbury MP, former Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking.

Trigger warning: swearing, detailed descriptions of abuse faced by women while cycling


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The report is downloadable here and there is more information on our Women’s Network page.

What Stops Women Cycling in London?

Below are a few of the key results from the What Stops Women Cycling in London? report.

  • 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 women 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 women 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.

Women’s experiences cycling in London

The survey, report and accompanying video highlight the gendered abuse and aggression far too many women experience in London while cycling. This includes:

  • Nevin: “We were both stopped at traffic lights. He shouted ‘You can fuck off and suck your mother’. It was the way he said it.”
  • Dani: “I experienced the most aggression when I was cycling with a trailer with my kids in. It was impatient drivers in residential areas getting frustrated that they couldn’t overtake me. They would yell out of their windows and once someone stopped in front of me to  tell me I was a bad mother for putting my kids in danger!”
  • Sara: “I was cycling on the road where I live. There are cars parked on each side so I have to cycle in primary position. A driver drove towards me at speed, then as he passed he wound down his window and shouted ‘bitch’ in my face.”

Make London safe for women to cycle

London Cycling Campaign wants London to become a place where women and girls feel safe to cycle, and for women to use cycling as transport in equal numbers to men across the city by 2030. Currently only a third of cycle trips are by women. The LCC’s Women’s Network, a coalition which includes women from cycling groups JoyRiders and Londra Bisiklet Kulübü, is currently running a petition to the Mayor of London calling for urgent action on these issues. The petition asks the Mayor to:

  • Act on physical safety – working with TfL and boroughs to deliver high-quality safe cycling infrastructure across London, to “give women the confidence to cycle, including with children, without fear of collision with motor vehicles”
  • Act on social safety – for the Mayor and Met Police, TfL and boroughs to measure incidents associated with, and act to improve, social safety for women cycling in London.
  • Provide local cycle networks – for TfL and boroughs to “think beyond the commute” and prioritise local cycle networks, such as low traffic neighbourhoods and safe routes to amenities and schools.

LCC’s Women’s Network will hand the currently running petition to a representative from the Mayor of London at our central London, LCC Women’s Freedom Ride on Sunday 3 March.

For more information on the campaign, report, video and upcoming ride, lcc.org.uk/freedom

Quotes from the launch press release

“While more and more people are cycling in London and safe cycle routes are rolling out in many boroughs, there’s still too many parts of London where cycling isn’t and doesn’t feel safe enough – and women still face additional barriers to cycling and additional hostility when cycling. This needs urgent action to address the fact that only a third of cycle trips in London are done by women – whereas in Holland, over half are.” – Eilidh Murray, Chair, London Cycling Campaign

“Every woman and girl should be able to enjoy the benefits of cycling in London without fear of violence and intimidation. Yet sadly, across the UK, we face an epidemic of violence against women and girls and today’s report demonstrates the significant impact this abuse and aggression is having on women cyclists. It is simply unacceptable, and the Mayor and I are committed to preventing violence against women and girls and challenging the attitudes that enable these behaviours. The Mayor and TfL continue to invest in our protected cycle network, cycle training and skills, and secure well-designed cycle parking, helping to address the barriers and encourage more women and girls to take up cycling.” – Sophie Linden, London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime

“This important report from the London Cycling Campaign shows the huge work still needed to encourage more women to cycle, and to support those who already cycle across our capital. It was shocking to read that 90% of women had faced intimidation when they were on the road.  While we’ve made much progress over the last decade with better cycling infrastructure in London thinks to investment from the Mayor of London and local councils, I know that there is much more to do. Encouraging more women to cycle is good for our public health, good for our economy and good for our environment.” – Ruth Cadbury MP, All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling & Walking

“I’ve had drivers passing too closely on purpose to intimidate me more times than I can remember. I’ve been stopped at lights and had my bum slapped by a man as he walked past. Women in London, including those of us just trying to get about on bikes, face gendered abuse, aggression and violence and we have to end this.” – Catriona, survey respondent


London Cycling Campaign Women's Network is running a petition calling for safe cycling for women in London. The petition will be handed hand to the Mayor of London ahead of International Women's Day 2024.

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