Three similar comments I’ve heard from elderly visitors to my town in the past fortnight.
“I used to cycle in every week to watch the football team play. But these days the traffic…” (This gent lives just 6 and a half miles away.)
“I used to jump on my bike and cycle here with my mates to watch things at the cinema. The country lanes were lovely and there was never any traffic.” (This gent lives just 5 miles outside town.)
“I used to cycle home from work along Watling Street.* But of course I couldn’t now. There never used to be any cars, just the odd coal lorry would go past.” (The section of Watling Street is now a busy 30 mph zone where too many push the car up to 40 mph.)
Yes, there are a lot of cars around these days. I can’t argue with that. BUT they slow each other down.
I’m chuffed to say that cycling sensibly in this neck of the woods is just about as safe as you’ll find in England. We live in the county with the 3rd lowest rate of traffic incidents in England. And in the town with the lowest rate of people being being injured in traffic in this county. And, as is happening nation-wide, the number of crashes locally is going down steadily every year. Moreover the visibly rising number of bikes is making car users more aware and tolerant of us.
I reckon any halfway road-savvy person is safe on a bike here.