Tom Vanderbilt recently wrote an article in Slate which has been generating a few hits to my blog. He pointed to an article in the London newspaper, the Evening Standard which had covered cycle parking at London railway stations.
To summarise, London has 2800 cycle parking spaces shared between 50 railway stations. It also has a population of around eight million people.
On the other hand, Assen where we live in the Netherlands is a small city with just 65000 inhabitants and one railway station. But even at that railway station there are spaces for more than 2500 bikes (update 2013: Assen's railway station is being rebuilt with 3500 bicycle parking spaces).
That's one cycle parking place at the station per 26 Assen residents vs. one space per 2800 Londoners. That's a full two orders of magnitude difference (i.e. 100x).
Here in the Netherlands the railway company says that 4 in 10 railway passengers arrive at the station by bike. London has provided for just 1 in 700 railway passengers to be able to park a bike at the station.
London frequently claims to be doing all kinds of great things for cyclists. The Mayor, Boris Johnson, has used such hyperbole as to suggest that London is a beacon to the world for cycling. However, the truth is that the city remains decades behind. Of course, London is far from the only place to be exaggerating it's achievements, and it can be confusing to work out what is worth looking at, but actually it's simple.
The Netherlands still leads the rest of the world by a large margin. There are many pretenders, accept no substitute...
For comparisons of railway station parking at other cities in the UK with a village here in the Netherlands, take a look here. For an article about how the Netherlands still doesn't have nearly enough, and what's being done about it, look here. Or take a look at the wonderful cycle park at the main station in Groningen which has 10000 spaces for 180000 people.