Bike Dissertation

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


<p>Manchester Metropolitan University Youth and Community Work BA (Hons) 2006</p> <p>How Youth and Community Workers Can Encourage Cycling in Manchester</p> <p>Vanessa Brierley</p> <p>Tutor: Dianne Watt</p> <p>1</p> <p>A study into the attitudes towards cycling and how to encourage cycling in Manchester</p> <p>2</p> <p>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</p> <p>3</p> <p>Abstract</p> <p>This study looks at cycling as a mode of transport and how it can be encouraged, especially by youth and community workers.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>4</p> <p>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.</p> <p>5</p> <p>Acknowledgements</p> <p>I would like to thank the research team and those that participated in the bicycle research.</p> <p>6</p> <p>Statement of Ownership</p> <p>I certify</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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</p> <p>acknowledged as such, and that any specific direction or advice received is also properly acknowledged</p> <p>Signed</p> <p>7</p> <p>Chapter One Introduction</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>The fourth chapter contains an in depth look at the policies and welfare provision applicable to this study, including the National Cycling Strategy.</p> <p>In the fifth chapter I shall look at the results of my primary research and analyse my findings.</p> <p>The final chapter shall consist of recommendations and conclusions according to the information I have looked at and the results of the primary research.</p> <p>8</p> <p>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.</p> <p>Environment</p> <p>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.</p> <p>The Manchester City Council Youth Service states the importance of the environment, which includes global issues, outdoor education, resources, road safety and conservation.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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</p> <p>walking and cycling, and reducing noise pollution</p> <p>dependence on cars) (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, March 2005).</p> <p>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</p> <p>9</p> <p>aware of environmental issues and take action to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly community.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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).</p> <p>10</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>In addition to this, the womens liberation movement holds the bicycle responsible for its early victories and changes.</p> <p>11</p> <p>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)</p> <p>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 this form of transport that is not only a healthy, safe and inexpensive way of travelling, but also an important part of their history.</p> <p>Rationale As a cyclist it is difficult to look at the bicycle from the other side. To discredit it is difficult because of my own opinions but also because so many seem to love it. Even those that drive Sports Utility Vehicles on the school run are likely to take joy in teaching their children how to ride their first bike. Therefore this study will look at the problems associated with using bicycles on a daily basis, to replace car culture. I shall look at ways to overcome these problems in my primary research by asking those participating for solutions.</p> <p>This study is not only to look at whether bicycling is a good or bad mode of transport as that has already been determined by many, some I have mentioned. It is also about how cycling can be encouraged, especially by youth and community workers. In this way it is less important that my passion to encourage cycling will affect peoples opinions. For example if I were to ask whether cycling</p> <p>12</p> <p>was good or not, my own opinion may be more difficult to conceal and would, therefore affect the participants responses.</p> <p>This study shall not only be a works for a dissertation, it shall also, hopefully, be a useful tool for cycle advocacy. It may be used in funding bids for cycling projects that I would like to do in the future as it will enable me to gain information about the needs of cyclists and future-cyclists in order to provide the services that are needed.</p> <p>13</p> <p>Chapter Two Literary Review</p> <p>To gain the benefits of a broader survey, more time and expertise, a number of similar studies were looked at. These include studies carried out by government bodies, corporations and consumer marketers.</p> <p>Most of these previous studies have looked at the reasons why people cycle and why they dont, concentrating mostly on the physical aspects of what could be improved or provided, and less on any social changes or implementations. The studies have been mostly quantitative using questionnaires and opinion polls rather than focus groups and interviews.</p> <p>Attitudes towards cycling</p> <p>Attitudes to Walking and Cycling is a paper whereby the results come from a wider survey for the Department for Transport in the Office for National Statistics October 2002 Omnibus Survey. It was a survey of 1850 adults in the form of a questionnaire.</p> <p>The results found were for the attitudes to both walking and cycling, yet when collating useful knowledge to this study I concentrated on the cycling aspects of the study. 58% of respondents said they currently use a car to make journeys within cycling or walking distance. The average satisfaction rating for cycling conditions was 4.6 (where 0 was very dissatisfied and 10 was very satisfied). According to this study men cycle more, 16% of men cycle once a week compared with 10% of women. 65% of the people from most deprived areas never cycle, whilst 49% from the least deprived areas never cycle. The survey shows how people think encouraging cycling is important for health (87%), the</p> <p>14</p> <p>environment (79%) and congestion (73%). Despite this, many thought the image of cycling could be better with 13% of people thought their friends would laugh at them if they cycled more.</p> <p>The National Travel Survey (2002 and 2003) involved almost 15700 households who were involved in recording their transport habits in a travel diary, over a weeklong period. The stated aims of the survey were to provide a better understanding of the use of transport facilities made by different sectors of the population, and trends in these patterns of demand. The data from the study is used in a variety of texts, such as the London Cycling Action Plan (2004), in the report Making the connections: Final report on transport and social exclusion, published in February 2003.</p> <p>In households with a car, adult males cycle three times as far as adult females, whilst in households without a car, the men cycle eight times as far as women do. 47% per cent of households owned at least one bicycle in 2002/03, comparing this to the National Travel Survey in 1992/1994, the numbers have increased from 37%. In 1992/94 29 bicycles were owned per 100 people which again rose to 38 bicycles in 2002/03. The survey showed that the majority of the bicycles in a household are only used by children, in 2002/2003 41% of children aged 5 and over owned a bicycle, and another 1.5% had access to one.</p> <p>Despite this the research shows that in 2002/2003 5.1% of respondents recorded at least one bicycle trip in their travel diary whilst in 1992/94, 5.6 per cent of respondents did.</p> <p>The Automobile Association carried out 'Cycling Motorists: How to encourage them' (1993), which was carried out with adult drivers who cycled for some journeys, in the form of 3 focus groups and quantitative results were obtained</p> <p>15</p> <p>through interviews with 1000 motorists. The research was carried out to find out motorists attitudes to cycling.</p> <p>The main reason given for not cycling was preference for a car or a motorcycle (28%) or because they were too old or unfit to cycle (29%), with 18% paradoxically not cycling because it was too dangerous or because there wa...</p>