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My University dissertation research into how to encourage cycling in Manchester, UK

Transcript of Bike Dissertation

Manchester Metropolitan University Youth and Community Work BA (Hons) 2006

How Youth and Community Workers Can Encourage Cycling in Manchester

Vanessa Brierley

Tutor: Dianne Watt


A study into the attitudes towards cycling and how to encourage cycling in Manchester


Contents Page Abstract Acknowledgements Statement of Ownership Chapter One: Introduction Chapter Two: Literary Review Chapter Three: Methodology Chapter Four: Welfare Provision and Policy Chapter Five: Research Findings Chapter Six: Conclusions and recommendations 4 6 7 8 14 21 31 38 50



This study looks at cycling as a mode of transport and how it can be encouraged, especially by youth and community workers.

The thesis investigates secondary research that have taken place that relate to this study, looking specifically at the organisation that carried it out, their stated aims of carrying out the survey, their key findings, the methodologies used, any identified differences according to possible power differences (such as ethnicity, gender, age and social status) and what their recommendations.

The secondary research showed that the majority of people have a positive attitude toward cycling yet find the car culture heightens the problems associated with bicycles, such poor facilities. Many suggestions to encourage cycling, through a variety of methods of research were made which add to the validity of suggestions made in the primary research of this study.

The third chapter discusses the methodology of this study, explaining the use of focus groups and depth interviews. Why they were chosen and any problems encountered during the research.

The fourth chapter contains an in depth look at the policies applicable to this study, including the National Cycling Strategy and also the welfare provision available in Manchester such the Bike It schemes in schools.

The fifth chapter contains the findings of the primary research of this dissertation. This shows peoples attitudes towards cycling and what would encourage them to cycle or to cycle more often. It is a qualitative study and therefore concentrates on the opinions of those participating in the research.


The final chapter consists of the recommendations and conclusions which recommends how the suggestions made by those participating in the primary research and from the secondary evidence may be put in to practise, particularly by youth and community workers.



I would like to thank the research team and those that participated in the bicycle research.


Statement of Ownership

I certify

1. that this dissertation is my own account, based upon work actually carried out by me and that all sources of material, not resulting from my own investigation, including observational information, have been clearly indicated.

2. that no part of this work incorporated in the Dissertation is a quotation from published or unpublished sources, except where it has been clearly

acknowledged as such, and that any specific direction or advice received is also properly acknowledged



Chapter One Introduction

This study consists of six chapters including the introduction, which shall investigate the reasons for undertaking this study. It will look at what has inspired me and how it relates to my professional practise as a youth worker.

The second chapter will look at secondary research. Within this I shall review the other studies and pieces of research that have taken place relating to this study, looking specifically at the organisation that carried it out, their stated aims of carrying out the survey, their key findings, the methodologies used, any identified differences according to possible power differences (such as ethnicity, gender, age and social status) and what their recommendations are.

The third chapter will look at the methodology of this study. I shall look at the methods used and why I have chosen them. The things that worked well and any problems I encountered in using these techniques.

The fourth chapter contains an in depth look at the policies and welfare provision applicable to this study, including the National Cycling Strategy.

In the fifth chapter I shall look at the results of my primary research and analyse my findings.

The final chapter shall consist of recommendations and conclusions according to the information I have looked at and the results of the primary research.


Youth and Community Work and Cycling This study will investigate peoples attitudes towards cycling in Manchester. This will assist a further insight into how to encourage cycling, looking at both the physical aspects, such as cycle lanes, and the social aspects, such as creating a more positive image of cycling.


My main interests in the youth and community work profession lie in environmental education and so encouraging people I work with to use a sustainable mode of transport is extremely important.

The Manchester City Council Youth Service states the importance of the environment, which includes global issues, outdoor education, resources, road safety and conservation.

In addition to providing informal education in the subjects in the youth work curriculum, the DfES (2002) also describes how youth workers should encourage young peoples preparation for the responsibilities, opportunities and expectations of adulthood and citizenship.

A main role in community work is to enable a lifestyle that minimises negative environmental opportunities impact for and enhances positive impacts (e.g. by creating and

walking and cycling, and reducing noise pollution

dependence on cars) (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, March 2005).

These show how it is essential for a youth and community worker to encourage the people they work with to be active members in their community and to be


aware of environmental issues and take action to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly community.

Cycling is a method of transport that enables us to travel in a way that doesnt pollute the environment, is sustainable and should therefore be the mode of transport encouraged by youth and community workers alike. Bicycling can be encouraged when youth workers look at ways for young people to take environmental action in their communities and by community workers when working with community and town planners to create more sustainable communities.

Health In addition to the positive environmental implications, cycling also helps to keep us fit and healthy, enables us to travel and socialise with strangers at the same time. The bicycle provides transport that is more universally available to all ages of the population and to those of all socio-economic groups than motor transport.

Pledges in Transforming Youth Work (DfES, 2001) state, We want to help each young person to be somebody who not only enjoys life but is in good health, studying to the best of their ability, is challenged and stretched mentally and physically. Yet England has witnessed the fastest growth in obesity in Europe and childhood obesity has tripled in twenty years.

The British Nutrition Foundation suggests that children cycle instead of using a car (2005), the House of Commons (2004) select committee on health stated: We believe that providing safe routes to school for walking and cycling, adequate and safe play areas in and out of school is very important in the battle against obesity (Paragraph 284).


These recommendations show the importance of young people using more active methods of transport, to improve their health. Cycling is a way that can also be easily encouraged due to it being a fun and sociable way to travel.

Road Safety I have chosen this subject for my study due to my great love of bicycling and my concerns about other forms of transport. Currently our roads and our lives are dominated by car culture.

As a youth and community worker I am concerned with the safety of those using roads. In 2003 there were a total of 1095 people killed or seriously injured in road accidents in Greater Manchester (Department for Transport, 2005), not only should we as professionals teach our service users about road safety but we should also promote alternatives to more dangerous forms of transport.

Social Exclusion Another influencing factor is that cycling is an inexpensive way for people to travel and one that is, therefore, available to many marginalised groups. 30% of the UK population do not own a car, and only half of the female population holds a driving licence (Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, 1998). The National Travel Survey, 2002, also shows that 80% of white people aged 17 and over in Britain lived in a household with a car in 2002, compared with 73% of people of Asian background and 61% of people of other ethnic groups.

In addition to this, the womens liberation movement holds the bicycle responsible for its early victories and changes.


The bicycle has been responsible for more movement in manners and morals than anything since Charles the Second in four words, the emancipation of women. (Galsworthy, 1890)

Despite cycling being so important to women historically, the number of women currently cycling is dropping. A Department for Transport survey in 2002 showed that men cycle more than women, with 16% of men cycling at least once a week compared with only 10% of women. It is therefore important that youth and community workers share information with women about the usefulness of cycling and encourage them to take up t