London cycling is too white and male and must be changed by government programs to be more “diverse.”
The first thing that we learn that’s wrong in Britain’s capitol city is that there is a London Cycling Commissioner. We know that such a full time officer is not necessary because he obviously has too much time on his hands. It is obvious he has too much time on his hands because he is concerning himself with the racial make-up, the age, and the sex of the majority of bicyclists. He is going to force “more diversity” among cyclists.
Too few women and people from ethnic minority groups cycle in London and more must be done to promote diversity among a largely white, male and middle class biking community, the city’s walking and cycling commissioner has said.
Grand schemes, such as the Cycle Superhighway network of partially-segregated routes linking the suburbs with the centre, are too often perceived as simply a way of getting “middle-aged men cycling faster around the city”, Will Norman acknowledged.
He said he was considering setting diversity targets for London’s cycling population to ensure progress was achieved.
Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups account for about 15 per cent of the city’s cycle trips – around two-thirds less than Transport for London estimates it could be.
Speaking to The Independent, Mr Norman, whose job it is to deliver on Sadiq Khan’s pledge to make walking and cycling safer and easier in the capital, said: “There is a problem with cycling and the way it is perceived of getting middle-aged men cycling faster around the city, which is not the objective at all.
“It touches on something which is a real challenge for London cycling, which is diversity.”
Mr Norman, the capital’s first cycling commissioner, said he wanted to tackle the “gender divide” among cyclists that had spawned the term middle-aged men in lycra – or Mamils.
He added: “Even when we have seen the growth in the number of cyclists, we haven’t seen that diversity.[…]
The mayor’s office has unveiled a number of projects it says will begin to address a lack of diversity, including cycle training courses, grants for community groups who do not typically cycle and promoting electric bikes, as well as expanded cycle routes.