Sustrans, in association with a number of cities, has produced an excellent “Bike Life – Women: reducing the gender gap” report. Go read it. It really shows the way our Highways Engineers have excluded women (and men) from taking up cycling. This gender gap is born out in many studies with around 28% of people that cycle being women in the UK, vs 55% in Netherlands
There is a big big problem in Highways and the DfT. Being an engineering profession I suspect it is also dominated by men and this directly impacts the design process “I would ride that.”.
However this report also showed something interesting. Continue reading We all want traffic free cycle routes! Well no we don’t.
The way the council sometimes deals with Cycle Bath is to treat us like we’re just a bunch of people on two wheels with a fetish for lycra and riding fast on pavements. However the fight is about inclusive cycling.
Social Model of Disability
It is fully about tackling the social model of disability. Scope has a very good definition.
The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organised, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.
Disabled people developed the social model of disability because the traditional medical model did not explain their personal experience of disability or help to develop more inclusive ways of living.
An impairment is defined as long-term limitation of a person’s physical, mental or sensory function.
Image is everything
To this end I’ve been rethinking the Cycle Bath branding and whether it truly reflects society.
Bikes left to right:
- Wheelchair bike
- Dutch style bike with a child seat
- Child bicycle
- Cargo bike
- Wheelchair with eBike conversion kit
- Cargo trike
- Road bike
- City bike with child trailer
- Recumbent Trike
This is inspired by the work done by Highways England and their inclusive mobility vehicle design standard 1.2m wide x 2.8m wide vehicle they defined in IAN 195
Cycle Bath, at its core, is trying to tackle the social model of disability. Huge numbers of people want to cycle but feel our road space does not enable them to cycle. The roads are simply too dangerous. The bollards are set too close together. The council, and particularly councillors, simply have the wrong view of who cyclists are.
This has to change.
Feedback is very welcome. The branding is being discussed in detail on facebook or leave a comment here.
PS It’s very hard to draw people 😀
[Edit] Latest one with a hand cycle leading the charge.
I do not want to take anything away from this article, so here it is
What I will say is that the BaNES council utterly fails to recognise that electric bicycles and particularly electric tricycles enable many people with sever walking issues the freedom to live easily within cities and towns. Many find that this form of transport has a positive impact on their health and wellbeing.
Yet for years we have asked the council to remove bollard formations that limit access. Currently if you are using a wider eTrike, the Two Tunnels and the Bath To Bristol Cycle Path are off limits.
Spacing is important. Any barrier must enable a 1.2m wide x 2.8m long mobility vehicle through.
That includes wheelchair trikes:
Cycle Bath even went to the trouble of identifying the points where problems exist (the connections marked with a red dot) on the Bath Cycle Map
Many of the issues on the Two Tunnels Linear Park are simply a padlock key and removal of a couple of bollards away from being accessible.
Read the article, understand that putting barriers in to ‘slow down cyclists’ probably goes against the 2010 Equalities act. You might as well put up signs “No Disabled Access” signs all over the place.