The two most effective things that Councils can do to promote cycling are to ensure that enough racks are available to park them and also to fund extra robust, high visibility, beat policing to tackle the huge problem of stolen bikes.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson aims to quadruple the amount of cycling in London. His initiatives include adding more mirrors to traffic lights to reduce the risk of cyclists being killed by lorry drivers who didn't see them, cycle highways and a bike hire scheme.
What sounds ludicrously extravagant is a "free adult cycle training scheme" from Tower Hamlets Council. Accordinhg to the details that I have been sent it offers "one on one sessions with an instructor rather than in a group."