Bikes are set to become an NHS prescription under Boris Johnson’s active travel initiative to encourage Brits to lead healthier lifestyles.
GPs in areas of England with poor health will be encouraged to prescribe cycling and give patients access to bicycles through their local surgery, the Prime Minister has announced.
He also revealed that the delayed scheme offering £50 vouchers towards the cost of fixing a bike will go live today with the release of the first 50,000 vouchers.
The plans are part of a £2 billion scheme, which will also see the introduction of thousands of miles of new protected cycle lanes, cycle training for any child or adult, and the creation of the UK’s first zero-emission transport city.
The plans to promote cycling and walking is part of a larger government bid to tackle obesity.
Mr Johnson said: “To build a healthier, more active nation, we need the right infrastructure, training and support in place to give people the confidence to travel on two wheels.
“That’s why now is the time to shift gears and press ahead with our biggest and boldest plans yet to boost active travel – so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling.”
Labour’s shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon welcomed the scheme, but said he was “pretty sick of hearing the same announcements over and over again.”
He told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “Local authorities are desperate to implement schemes at a local level but they need the money to do that – so less talk, more writing the cheque I would say.”
talkRADIO: Listen live