Cycling's gender gap: men twice as likely to cycle to work than women

Article date: 24 August 2015

A gender gap is forming when it comes to those who cycle to work, according to new research commissioned by Aviva, with 18% of men surveyed using their bike to commute compared to just 9% of women1. The data has been released as part of the build up to the Aviva Tour of Britain which takes place next month (6th-13th September).

When asked what puts them off cycling to work, women were much more worried about the safety aspect (41%) and their fitness levels (25%) compared to men (28% and 13%). Needing the car later in the day (9%) and having no showers at work (16%) were other reasons for women leaving their bikes at home. Both men and women had similar concerns about the distance they live from work and cycling in bad weather.

The figures are reflected in analysis of Aviva’s employee engagement with the Bike to Work scheme2 which reveals that almost three times as many male members of staff have taken advantage of the benefit, compared to female employees.

As further evidence that women are falling behind in the cycle race, two in five of those surveyed (41%) admitted they have not ridden a bike for over two years, compared to just over a quarter (28%) of men.  However, there is room for improvement, as one in ten women (9%) said they had been inspired to take up cycling regularly after watching events such as the Aviva Women’s Tour and the Olympics.

Lindsay Forster, UK & Ireland Customer Marketing Director at Aviva said: “Bike to Work Schemes have really taken off across the UK, but now we need action to encourage more women to cycle to work. It’s great that British Cycling’s initiative to encourage one million more women to cycle regularly by 20203 is going so well and I hope the Aviva Women’s Tour earlier this year gave added support. It also helps that high profile female athletes such as Victoria Pendleton, Laura Trott and Dani King have really put women’s cycling on the map.

“Cycling has numerous benefits including improving people’s health and wellbeing, keeping commuting costs down alongside being better for the environment. I hope more women will be encouraged to give cycling a try.”

Londoners and East Anglians are the most likely to cycle to work, with almost one in five (18%) opting to do this, while those in the East Midlands are the least likely, at 10%.

Aviva is the proud sponsor of the Aviva Women’s Tour, The Aviva Tour of Britain (6-13 September 2015) and the Aviva Tour Ride (4th October 2015). For more information please visit


If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact: 
Aviva Press Office: Ben Moss: 0117 928 5843 : mobile: 07827 832 395 : email

Notes to editors

1. Survey of 2000 UK employed adults carried out by One Poll on behalf of Aviva
2. Aviva Bike to Work scheme data July 2015.
3. British Cycling

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