Is it safe for women to hitchhike alone?

The Times 30 April 2009

It is a dreary Tuesday afternoon and I’m standing at a deserted service station just outside Newcastle. I have been here for more than an hour. This is why people shun hitchhiking for more conventional modes of transport, I think.

Eventually a car slows — not just any car but a Jaguar — and a cheery man called Terry takes me on a few miles to a more populous junction. This is by far the smartest of the 14 lifts it takes me to hitch from London to Edinburgh — a reckless attempt to rediscover the lost art of hitchhiking. All but two of the lifts are from men driving alone, aged anywhere between 20 and 66. The only couple, Sue and Dave, both 55, met at school and still behave like love-struck teenagers almost 40 years on.

None of the drivers seem particularly lonely; instead…

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