Perhaps inevitably, a couple of envious comparisons were made with facilities and cycling rates in the Netherlands. As I said before, I'd like to see the same here, but I think what the comparison really shows is that cycling in the UK has fallen to a much lower level than than Dutch cycling ever fell to, primarily because of their existing large network of segregated cycle paths, and that this means the Dutch experience may not be the best guide to how to build up cycling from a very low base. Which is not to say that it isn't a very good thing to aim for.
Anyway, to put some proper numbers on this I went back to John Pucher and Ralph Buehler's article 'Making cycling irresistible'. The chart below shows the trend in the number of kilometres cycled per person in the Netherlands and the UK, and was derived by combining the figures for recent cycling rates from Figure 2, with the index trend from Figure 6, in which each country's actual trend is rebased to 100 in 1952 (and which I digitised using this).
What it shows is that when cycling in the Netherlands reached its nadir in the late 1970s, people were still cycling more there than they had been in the UK in 1952. Cycling levels in the UK have been absolutely miserable since the early 1970s at least. It's also interesting to me that cycling rates in the Netherlands apparently haven't actually increased that much since the early 1980s, suggesting that if car ownership is increasing at the same time then you need to keep improving cycling infrastructure just to keep current cycling rates going.
There are lots of quibbles you could come up with about whether all this is a fair comparison (perhaps the UK had mass car ownership sooner, or better public transport), but they are mostly beside the point if cycling is what we are focused on. And again, I'm not arguing against Dutch-style cycling infrastructure shouldn't be the aim. But it does show the size of the mountain we have to climb.