This from an article in the independent about a lack of supply of bikes in the UK.
Although the UK bike industry is a rare manufacturing success story, outperforming every other sector of the UK economy over the past five years except weapons production, we produces barely 5 per cent of the one million machines that Raleigh, our best-known bicycle maker, was producing in the 1950s.
It seems that a government scheme to promote cycling has been more successful than cycle manufactures had planned on. And since most bikes are produced in factories in south-east Asia, there is a long lead-in time before more can be produced.
Meanwhile, the number of cyclist fatalities in 2008 for the UK was the second lowest number ever recorded, the same year that the number of kms cycled in the UK reached its highest level in 17 years. This would seem to be perfect evidence of safety in numbers --- the more people cycle, the safer it becomes for cyclists since motorists learn to share the road (and presumably cycle friendly roads, etc, develop). This is counter the the current views of some Wellington city councilors who have stated that they think people should be discouraged from cycling since it is unsafe --- people can be encouraged to cycle after the the council have figured out how to make cycling safe and how to fund whatever plan they come up with.