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Creating safer spaces for cycling is encouraging more women in London to take to two wheels

Breaking down the barriers that stop women riding a bike could increase the number of women cycling to work by a further 60%.

New TfL research has shown that breaking down the barriers to cycling could increase the number of women using a bicycle to get to work by 30,000 every day and increase cycling in London by around 10%, the equivalent of more than 50,000 extra journeys per day.

Cycling has grown faster than any other form of travel over the past ten years and there are now more than 730,000 journeys by bike every day, however only 10% of women in London cycle regularly.

TfL research has shown that there are several reasons why women choose not to cycle, including the fear of being involved in a collision, concerns around too much traffic and not feeling confident.

These barriers to cycling are being tackled by TfL and the boroughs through a number of initiatives, such as cycle training and Cycling Grants London, which supports community groups through training sessions and guided rides.

Ongoing improvements

New infrastructure is helping to grow the number of people cycling in London and is encouraging women to take to two wheels.

The number of women cycling in London has increased 4% in the last three years and since Quietway 1 was launched in 2016, the number of women using the route has increased from 29 to 35%.

Ongoing improvements to cycling infrastructure in London, such as new cycle routes, are expected to further increase the number of cyclists, but breaking down the barriers that prevent women cycling will increase this number even more.

Issues around women who ride bicycles and the ways to increase the number of people who choose to cycle for everyday journeys is being discussed at the Women and Cycling Conference 2018, hosted at TfL's offices on 20 September.

The conference saw more than 120 participants gather to review progress towards removing the barriers that prevent more women from cycling.

Speakers included London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, TfL's Director of Transport Strategy, Lilli Matson, TfL's Head of Business Development for Santander Cycles, Helen Sharp, and Angela Van Der Kloof, a Dutch academic who specialises in cycling research.

Will Norman, London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: 'We're striving to get as many people as possible cycling in the capital.

'We know that building safe high quality cycling infrastructure enables more women take to two wheels. That's why we are investing record amounts in cycling and we are seeing more women starting to use our cycle network as part of their daily lives.'

Enjoy the benefits

Lilli Matson, Director of Transport Strategy at TfL, said: 'We're working hard to improve cycling in London and broaden its appeal, so everyone can enjoy the benefits of travelling by bike.

'By bringing people together to discuss how we can work together and make cycling accessible and appealing to all we hope to break down the barriers that are stopping more women from cycling. This will result in more than 18 million extra cycling journeys every year.'

TfL is encouraging even more Londoners of all ages and backgrounds to take up cycling, improving their wellbeing and London's air quality and helping to reduce traffic congestion.

This includes working with boroughs to make cycling in the capital easier and safer, promoting electric bikes and encouraging people across London to try the record-breaking Santander cycle hire scheme.

Cycle training is available across the capital for all ages and abilities to increase confidence.

The Cycle Grants London programme supports community groups who don't cycle to take up two wheels through training sessions and guided rides, enabling them to experience the benefits.

TfL recently worked with Santander on the popular Tour de Force, a guided cycling tour of women's history through London.

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