I am wrapping up a 6 months stay in England, outside of London, where I was sent by my company. I was able to bring my bike along and commuted everyday some 18 miles (RT). I was lucky because a good portion of my commute was along a bridle way, away from traffic and through some lush forest areas. Overall the bike infrastructure was quite good, obviously it is something that local authorities here spend some money on. Directional signs for cyclists (and the very occasional horse rider, I assume) were plenty and very informative. All very good, no complaints.
However, what really surprised me was the behavior of motorists towards anybody not in a car. Part of my commute was along streets, and drivers had no patience or concern for me and my safety (either as cyclist or pedestrian). The MO here seems to be, if you are not in a car and need to cross the street, make sure you don't get hit. Run for your life. Even in residential areas, the common "STOP line" where cars should stop before proceeding doesn't exist, so drivers might yield to oncoming traffic, but not for pedestrians. Motorists are speeding in a manner I rarely ever saw in the U.S. Speed limits are only taken as silly suggestions.
Oddly enough, England claims a low traffic fatality rate, which is among the lowest in the world. One wonders if the approach to scare non-motorists to stay off streets (which goes against the current train of thoughts in so many countries (including the US) where drivers are asked to slow down to make it safer and more welcoming for vulnerable road users) is part of the reason for the low fatality rate.
Anybody else out there who made similar experiences in England?