01/04/2014 11:07 BST | Updated 01/04/2014 11:59 BST

'Sexist' Stockton Borough Council Cycling Leaflet Withdrawn

A council has withdrawn a leaflet promoting cycling after it was branded sexist.

The offending advert shows a smiling male rider under the phrase "Sarah's shopping in Stockton with the girls. I'm signed up for Stockton's Sportive. That's Saturday sorted."

The leaflet, distributed by Stockton Borough Council, was supposed to promote the town's cycling festival in July and an activity day known as Sportive, and only featured young, male riders in the photos.

Carole Jones, who helps to run the Cycle Sisters which aims to promote cycling for women, complained to a local councillor.

cyling leaflet

She told the Northern Echo newspaper: "The message of the leaflet is, 'come cycling if you are a young, affluent male'.

"It's clear that Mrs Pankhurst's work is not yet done."

The council said the leaflet, which cost about £500 to produce, would be replaced.

Councillor Ken Dixon, Stockton Council's cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, said: "It was certainly not our intention to imply that women and girls cannot participate in every part of the festival and having listened to the concerns raised, we have decided to withdraw this particular leaflet and produce a redesigned version.

"We do a great deal of work to encourage female participation in sport and active leisure, including women's running clubs and women's cycling groups, and unlike many national cycle race events the Stockton Cycling Festival includes elite women's racing, as well as recreational rides which are open to all.

"The festival takes place over the weekend of July 11 to 13 - just one week after the Tour de France comes to the North of England for the first time - and we would like to be very clear that it is very much for everybody."