I've got a bike. You can ride it if you like.
It's got a basket, a bell that rings and
Things to make it look good.
I don't cycle. Indeed I gave my bike to my son a week or so back for him to travel to and from work. I used to cycle, back in the days when cycling five miles to school in South London was a done thing (and when schools, famously, had bike sheds behind which you could smoke).
So I was curious about the recent modest hullabaloo about cycling accidents where, if I understand correctly, they are all the fault of Boris Johnson.
The thing is that the number of cyclists involved in accidents has increased as the number of cyclists has increased. The CTC reports that the mileage cycled has increased by 20% over the past decade and that around 750,000 people regularly cycle to work.
It may be that, as numbers of cyclists increase, awareness levels increase too - both because cyclists are more expected on the roads but also that more drivers are also cyclists. And some research supports this contention:
The likelihood that a given person walking or bicycling will be struck by a motorist varies inversely with the amount of walking or bicycling. This pattern is consistent across communities of varying size, from specific intersections to cities and countries, and across time periods. (Jacobsen, 2003)
So more cycling means lower risks (although not necessarily fewer injuries in absolute terms, which is the reason for the silly spat over Boris) for cyclists but not for motorists. The question is whether there's a point at which the critical mass of cyclists has sufficient of an effect on driver behaviour to begin to see the risks for the motorists fall as they are for the cyclist.