Sweating, constrictive uniforms and the feeling of being "othered" are among the reasons teenage girls are less likely to cycle to school, according to campaigners.
An Oireachtas Committee will hear this afternoon how cycling among teenage girls has plummeted in recent years.
"If a drug was developed that lowered the risk of developing heart disease and cancer by 40%, Governments across the world would rush to make sure their citizens had access to it. This drug already exists, albeit it not in pharmaceutical from. It’s called cycling to work" 🚴♂️🚴 2/
— Cian O'Callaghan T.D. (@OCallaghanCian) January 18, 2022
Just 700 Cycle To Class
In 1986 over 19,000 girls cycled to secondary school but 30 years later, just 700 get on their bikes to get to class.
Ciara Norton from Green Schools Ireland says uniform skirts are a problem:
"It's not really a comfortable thing to cycle in."
"Girls are afraid they might show more of themselves than they'd like to show."
"Also a lot of bikes aren't particularly compatible with skirts."
The research focused on cycling uptake in teen girls conducted by #greenschools has informed our #andshecycles Campaign and new Ambassador Programme. You can read more about the barriers faced by this demographic in our recent release https://t.co/hCH5tuEKgd https://t.co/e2OQshuJJk
— Green-Schools (@GreenSchoolsIre) January 18, 2022
Martina Callanan from the Galway cycling campaign says infrastructure needs to be made accessible to everyone in the planning process:
"Gender inclusive planning has to be now a key component of auditing, design process and consultation."
"So that councils design and renew public spaces where women, girls and teenagers are safe."
Approx. 100 sets of traffic lights in #CorkCity do not detect stopped or approaching bicycles.
For example, the newly upgraded junction for pedestrians and bicycles at #HalfMoonLane does not detect bicycles exiting onto South Douglas Rd.
Finland shows how it can be done
— Cork Cycling Campaign (@CorkCyclingCrew) January 18, 2022
It Never Struck Me!
Una Morrison stopped cycling when she left primary school before rediscovering the hobby in adulthood. She says there’s many like her:
"It just didn't strike me!"
"Even though all the lads that I was friends with cycled everywhere."
"It never really struck me as something that I could do."
The Cork Cycling Campaign will tell an Oireachtas Housing Committee later the challenges facing young female cyclists go “above and beyond infrastructure”.