England prescribes bikes on NHS

Cycling seen as a way of encouraging healthier lifestyles amid obesity crisis
Mobility as a Service / July 28, 2020
By Adam Hill
ID 184117839 © Raluca Tudor | Dreamstime.com
On your bike: part of England's strategy to prevent obesity (© Raluca Tudor | Dreamstime.com)

England has joined the list of countries which is offering incentives to its citizens to encourage them to go cycling - even to the point of allowing doctors to prescribe cycling as a therapy.

As part of the government's strategy to combat obesity, announced this week, GPs in parts of England where health outcomes are poor will be encouraged to prescribe cycling as part of a pilot scheme.

Patients would be able to access bikes through their local doctor's surgery.

From today, the government has also introduced the Fix Your Bike voucher scheme, which offers £50 towards the cost of a service and repair for up to two bicycles per household.

The UK government has already announced funding of £2 billion over five years to be spent on improving cycling infrastructure and offering training.

A body called Active Travel England will enforce cycle lane standards, which suggests that simply painting cycle lanes on busy roads will not be considered sufficient.