ICTS Webinar Series Autumn 2021 –
“Why do female students in Limerick decide against cycling to school? Students’ and parents’ perceptions”
by Mr Ross Higgins (University of Limerick), 3 Nov 2021 @ 13:00 GMT (online)

There is increased emphasis on the need to reduce car dependency and to encourage more sustainable travel. While cycling rates have increased in many countries, including Ireland, women are often less likely to cycle than men and research shows that the differences can be seen from an early age. This research examines the modal choices of school-going students, and the attitudes of their parents/guardians to their modal choices. The results show multi-factorial barriers to cycling to school for girls compared to boys. Uniforms, traffic concerns, physical efforts of cycling, effects on personal appearance, and peer-influences were factors affecting girls more than boys. Fathers did not significantly differentiate by the gender of their children in relation to factors associated with cycling to school, unlike mothers who were found to be less supportive of their daughters than their sons. Further research must be carried out to determine how to shift the perceptions of the efforts associated with cycling, especially among girls, and how to encourage female parents/guardians to better support their daughters to cycle to school.

Ross Higgins lectures on the Civil Engineering programme in the University of Limerick. He is the Chair of the Irish Transport Research Network (www.itrn.ie) and his area of research is sustainable travel.

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