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‘Positive impact’: Cycling and walking to be offered on prescription

'Positive impact': Cycling and walking to be offered on prescription

Cycling and walking are to be offered on prescription by GPs, as part of a new trial announced by the government that is designed to…

Tuesday, Aug 23

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Cycling and walking are to be offered on prescription by GPs, as part of a new trial announced by the government that is designed to improve mental and physical health while curbing transport emissions across the country.

The government announced yesterday that it has awarded £12.7m in multi-year funding to 11 local authority areas in England to support several pilot projects that would see the NHS advise patients to take advantage of adult cycle training, free bike loans, and walking groups.

The government said the pilots would be delivered alongside improved infrastructure, so people feel safe to cycle and walk across the chosen eleven local authorities trialling the ‘social’ prescriptions. Partipants include local authorities in Leeds, Cornwall, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Bath.

The pilots form part of the government’s wider Gear Change Plan, which was first published in 2020 and aims to evaluate the impact of cycling and walking on an individual’s health, such as through reduced GP appointments or reliance on medication as a result of more physical activity.

"Walking and cycling has so many benefits – from improving air quality in our communities to reducing congestion on our busiest streets," said Walking and Cycling Minister Trudy Harrison.

"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."

The announcement was welcomed by the shared transport charity Collaborative Mobility UK, which said it has repeatedly called for measures to encourage […]

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