So, I'm back rom Switzerland and among the many glorious things there (chocolate, the guy playing an alpine horn, chocolate, the gummi bear shop, chocolate, delicious coffee, chocolate, going for dinner in Germany and chocolate) there was a plethora of bicycles.
Not only are the roads and cycle paths smooth as silk with sloped subways only for bikes at tricky junctions, not only did no one lock their bicycle to anything because the risk of theft is so low, not only did everyone have nice practical bicycles often with cute baskets but my uncle Jan told me that it is a legal requirement for cyclists who cycle on road to be insured and to display their sticker as proof of this on their bike at all times.
It costs the equivalent of £5 a year to get insured and you are covered for up to two million Swiss francs. How marvellous!
It is not used to police cycling behaviour but it ensures that anyone in an accident, whether they caused it or not, is covered. Surely this would be an ideal scheme for England?
Not only that, but each train had at least two bike spaces in every carriage. Every CARRIAGE, not every train. Super marvellous!!
The public transport in Basel, I hasten to add, was similarly fab but my uncle has said he will lend me a bike next time I'm around so I can whizz round on it. I'm excited already.