Promotion and development of utility cycling as an everyday travel option. Thematic campaign to support delivery campaigns. Recent increases in cycling have not been equal across the gender and age spectrum. People with disabilities are also underrepresented. Normalising utility cycling is essential to underpin all other campaigns and ensure their success.
Although none of the top rated barriers explicitly relate to the image of cycling many of them suggest that people think cycling to work is not practical and that you must be fit and wear specialist clothing to do it. It is important to create an image of cycle commuting which is egalitarian, utilitarian, practical and ‘non-sporty’.
Deliver the ‘other’ messages which could motivate people to start cycling apart from the health benefit e.g. save money, convenient, reliable, images of people cycling in ordinary clothes.
General public, particularly non-cyclists and potential commuters. Specific under-represented groups in cycling such as women and people with disabilities.
Staff and volunteer time to develop resources
Staff time to engage with different targeted groups of potential cyclists.
Collate images of everyday cycling. Develop resources to promote positive, ‘normal’ image of cycling
Carry out surveys/interviews
Develop partnerships with cycle shops
Outputs and impacts
Information/promotion bank – to be shared with workplaces and champions with ‘real’ examples looking at issues around:
Reliability of getting to work by bike
Image of cyclist
Background stories and statistics
Bank of case studies
Link to workplace Accreditation Scheme
Surveys with cycle highway users/get their stories
Improve perception of cycling, not just for the fit and active. See increase in utility bikes, using mudguards and bags and lights
Working with retailers and services along the Cycle Highway
According to Sustrans Bike Life survey nearly three times as many men cycle in Belfast as women and 80% of women say they never cycle. Sustrans took practical steps to address this by launching a 6-week ‘Women into Cycling’ programme, which is one element of the CHIPS project, to encourage active travel.
To launch the programme Sustrans held a lunchtime debate in Belfast city centre in October 2018 with an all-female panel to discuss the issues and barriers around women cycling called ‘On Her Bike’. This was used to raise the profile of the programme and promote registration.
The programme took place at Sustrans’ Active Travel Hub in east Belfast, near the Comber Greenway cycle highway. Over the six weeks the course covered on-road cycle training, bike maintenance, group cycle rides and information about different types of bikes. Crucially, it addressed some of the key barriers for women such as clothes to wear; issues around cleanliness commuting to work; route planning. It also featured testimonies by other women who cycle to work or for utility trips on the cycle highway. By summer 2019, Sustrans will have run a total of 4 of these 6-week courses, which have proven popular. Read more about Women into Cycling programme
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