People enjoying a walk in the Lake District, Cumbria. People in the North East and Cumbria could be prescribed walking or cycling by their GP in a new trial to improve mental and physical health.
£12.7 million of government funding will go towards 11 pilot areas in England.
GPs will be able to offer social prescriptions, like walking groups, cycle training and free bike loans.
Cumbria County Council will receive £1.5 million for schemes including cycle hire and loans, group cycle rides, and adult cycle training.
Gateshead Council will receive over £270,000 for schemes including an older people cycle programme, adult cycle training and walking support, and an older people walking programme.
The pilot is part of the Gear Change Plan published by the government in 2020.
It aims to evaluate the impact of cycling and walking on an individual’s health, such as reduced GP appointments and reliance on medication due to more physical activity. Video report by Andrew Misra For the first time, transport, active travel and health officials will work together towards a whole systems approach to health improvement and tackling health disparities.Walking and Cycling Minister Trudy Harrison said: "Walking and cycling has so many benefits – from improving air quality in our communities to reducing congestion on our busiest streets."It also has an enormous positive impact on physical and mental health, which is why we have funded these projects which will get people across the country moving and ease the burden on our NHS."National Active Travel Commissioner, Chris Boardman, said: […]