Bristol Women’s Cycling Charter

April 3, 2024

A bike mechanics selling a bike to a customer at a bike workshop.

We believe cycling should be accessible to everyone. So, when Sustrans’ Bike Life report found that in Bristol, men are twice as likely to be regular cyclists as women, we wanted to address this inequality head-on.

Working together to break down barriers

To effectively tackle the public health and climate crises, we need to empower more women to cycle. And despite being underrepresented in cycling statistics, 30% of women say that they want to travel by bike. The reasons women are put off cycling are multi-layered: from perceptions of safety, to poor infrastructure, to lack of skills and confidence*.

To break down these barriers, Bristol’s public, private and community sectors need to work together.

Launching the Bristol Women’s Cycling Charter

Life Cycle launched the Bristol Women’s Cycling Charter on 10th October 2019 to inspire our communities and leaders to push for meaningful change – and commit to making it happen.

At a packed-out event hosted in central Bristol by Life Cycle and TLT Solicitors, people from across the city came to learn more about the Charter and hear stories from women who are championing cycling in their communities. Almost 200 organisations signed up to the Charter.

Addressing the event, Megan Streb, interim head of partnerships at Sustrans, said:

“To create a city that really works for all, it is essential to understand and address the barriers and needs of all genders.”

Committing to change for women

The Charter calls for people across the city to support women and girls to choose cycling for local, everyday journeys. Whether that means lobbying for better infrastructure, helping someone you know to get started, or offering workplace benefits like Cycle Schemes or Dr Bikes: Even the smallest steps make a difference.

TLT Solicitors were one of the first to sign up to the Charter. Siobhan Fitzgerald, Partner at TLT said:

“We are delighted to support the Women's Cycling Charter and TLT is keen to encourage more of its female employees to cycle to work. I have commuted by bike for all of my working life and have enjoyed the exercise and health benefits, as well as appreciating the positive environmental impact.  Cycling has also enabled me to collect my kids from school on time (without being stuck in traffic) which is a big issue for many working mums”.

Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West, commented:

“I support the Bristol Women’s Cycling Charter and Life Cycle’s efforts to get more women in Bristol cycling. My bicycle is the only vehicle I own. We need dedicated separate space for cyclists so everyone can feel safe cycling in our city”.

Get involved

Find the latest data on cycling in Bristol.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can support people of all genders to cycle, get in touch for a chat.

*Reasons women say they don’t cycle include: feeling unsafe; poor or non-existent cycling infrastructure; poorly lit routes; not feeling safe or confident to cycle with children; multi-drop-off journeys on the school run and commute; having no cycle storage at home and lack of skills or knowledge.