A lot of recent news has focused on the dangers of city cycling, and the dangers cyclists face when trying to get around on their bikes. But research by the Department of Transport states that half of cycling fatalities occur on rural roads, where the risk of being killed on your bike is up to 10 times higher than the UK average.
The Government’s new Road Safety Strategy wants to encourage local authorities to introduce lower speed limits locally, which would require mass signage which many local authorities do not have the budget to introduce.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England says the way to make rural roads safer will be reducing speed limits overall on country roads, thus improving safety not only for cyclists, but also pedestrians and motorists. CPRE believes this will encourage more people to get on their bikes, mirroring the Dutch model where reduced speed limits on country roads cut serious crashes more effectively than lower speed limits in urban areas.
When riding in the countryside, roads and lanes will not be as well lit as urban areas, and it will be harder for drivers to know you are there. Reflective clothing is a necessity as well as wearing a head torch, and having a bike light and reflectors on your cycle to be more visible.