Cycling Among Teenage Girls Ha...

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Cycling Among Teenage Girls Has Plummeted In Recent Years

Tom Douglas
Tom Douglas

05:25 18 Jan 2022

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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.

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."


Accessible Infrastructure

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."

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”.

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