Funding allocations for active travel prescription trial announced

The funding allocations for the 11 local authorities taking part in a £13.9m walking and cycling prescription trial have been announced.

The active travel social prescribing scheme, which was launched last year, is aimed at helping councils launch a range of projects that will evaluate the impact of active travel on an individual’s physical and mental health.

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Social prescriptions, including walking, wheeling and cycling, will be offered by GPs as part of the trial to improve mental and physical health and reduce disparities across the country.

The funding will go towards several pilot projects in each location, including:

  • adult cycle training
  • free bike loans
  • walking groups

Other schemes include all-ability cycling taster days where people who may not have cycled before can try to in a friendly environment, or walking and cycling mental health groups where people can connect with their communities as they get active.

A condition of the scheme is that pilots must be delivered alongside improved infrastructure so people feel safe to cycle and walk.

The list of recipients include Bradford City Council, which has received £1.34m to deliver projects that will see patients offered free access to guided walking and cycling activities, cycle training and bike loans.

In Plymouth, the council is using its £1.2m share of the funding to help tackle patients’ individual barriers to active travel by working with them to develop personal walking and cycling plans.

Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman said: ‘Many studies have shown active travel has massive health benefits. Enabling everyone in England to travel under their own steam will help reduce conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, whilst at the same time, improving mental wellbeing.

‘We aim to use these trials to build on the existing evidence to show how bringing transport, active travel and health together can help build a healthier nation in an easy and sustainable way.’

The full list of allocations:

• Bath & North East Somerset Council – £1,612,773

• City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council – £1,340,145

• Cornwall Council – £844,641

• Cumbria County Council – £1,496,432

• Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council – £665,000

• Gateshead Council – £1,431,240

• Leeds City Council – £1,373,444

• Nottingham City Council – £1,588,785

• Plymouth City Council – £1,241,722

• Staffordshire County Council – £834,458

• Suffolk County Council – £1,490,506


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Carole Jones
Carole Jones
1 year ago

It’s a great idea….. but what about the north east. As a volunteers cycle leader we have seen the benefit of social cycling to hundreds of people improving their physical and mental health. You don’t need a trial. One has been done. You need to implement this all over GB.

John Holiday
John Holiday
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Jones

Indeed. The benefits have been self evident for years and will improve mental health and help to reduce obesity and heart disease
Logically you would expect to see it as a national roll out, not just isolated areas

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