Sexual orientation important factor in deciding new bike lane

Question 1: Do you like bikes?

Question 2: Do you think a new bike lane would be a good idea?

Question 3: Are you gay?

Uh? At least that is how I imagine the survey read. This is what residents of Brighton were asked in a survey about a new cycle path along the A23. They were also asked about religious beliefs.

The council has said:

“This type of survey helps us know whether we’re reaching all sections of the community and which people are using our services.”

I can only imagine this is a major blunder by the local council or maybe they are just really nosy. Apparently other relevant questions they were asked on the bike lane survey included: “if you were an animal what animal would you be?” and “what do you think of Danni Minogues new haircut on X-factor?”

I guess at least we can be glad a new cycle path is been considered. Hopefully, those residents not too offended by some of the questions will vote in favour for the new bike lane.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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3 Responses to Sexual orientation important factor in deciding new bike lane

  1. Jim 15/11/2009 at 5:39 pm #

    My local council uses these kind of questions on consultations all the time, but they are *anonymous* surveys so the council wouldn’t be able to trace the information back to me, even if it wanted to. ‘Equalities’ information (e.g. race, religion, sexuality) is collected routinely and is sometimes used to try and understand whether policy changes have any particular impact on different parts of the community. The council in the story you link to is right to say that these kind of ‘equalities impact assessments’ emerged out of the inquiry into institutional racism in the police after the Stephen Lawrence murder.

  2. Andreas 15/11/2009 at 7:47 pm #

    Hi Jim, I can see why councils may want to collect this data. I used to work at a market research company so I’m very familiar of the way data is then analysed post collection. Though we always asked questions such as racial background, I think over 95% of our surveys never had anything about sexual orientation. So I guess I find that part a little bit hard to grasp.

  3. Paul Gregory 16/11/2009 at 10:19 am #

    Talking of surveys – I really need help from Londoners to fill mine in (not specifically cycling related – but related to getting people more physically active)

    There is no need to register and it takes less than two minutes. Will really appreciate it.

    Thanks a lot!


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