NICE advice! Make cycling safer says public health body

Better facilities for cycling and walking will make it easier for people to give up their cars

NICE advice! Make cycling safer says public health body

The UK’s health watchdog has said walking, cycling and public transport should be given priority over cars when roads are built or upgraded, a move applauded by Cycling UK.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has proposed local authority planners adopt policies to ensure safe, convenient and inclusive access for cyclists, walkers and people who use public transport.

These guidelines are part of a draft quality standard for encouraging physical activity in people’s day-to-day lives.

According to NICE, one in four adults and one in every five children are classified as obese. While diet is seen as part of the problem, increasingly sedentary life styles is also to blame, with physical inactivity responsible for one in six deaths.

The UK’s obesity crisis is also expensive, and is believed to cost the UK £7.4 billion each year, including £900 million to the NHS.

Nice deputy chief executive Professor Gillian Leng wants this to change and believes making alternatives to private motor cars safer and more attractive is the solution.

"Getting people to be more physically active by increasing the amount they walk or cycle has the potential to benefit both the individual and the health system,” she said.

"As a society we are facing a looming Type 2 diabetes crisis, which is in part caused by people not exercising enough. We need more people to change their lifestyle and to take more exercise.

"Asking planners to prioritise pedestrians, cyclists and those who use public transport when roads are built or upgraded can ensure they are safe, attractive and designed to encourage people to get out from behind their wheel."

If Government is truly serious about addressing the obesity epidemic and its burden on NHS, then it’s crucial there are convenient alternatives to driving.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK's Head of Campaigns 

The health watchdog’s recommendations are applauded by Cycling UK, which has long campaigned for putting active travel solutions at the heart of all new developments and improvements.

“Cycling UK supports NICE in their call, but the Government committed to doing this five years ago,” says Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Head of Campaigns. “Councils up and down England are putting together plans to make cycling and walking possible, but they’re not receiving the funding they desperately need to make them a reality.”

In 2017, the Government invited all local authorities in England to draw up Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure plans in order to encourage more cycling and walking by making it more attractive and safer. Currently they are providing support to 44 local authorities to draw up these plans, however there is no financial backing to make these plans a reality.

Together with Living Streets, Cycling UK is calling on the public to write into the Government asking for them to provide the funding local authorities need to make their urban spaces better for cycling and walking.

“If Government is truly serious about addressing the obesity epidemic and its burden on NHS, then it’s crucial there are convenient alternatives to driving,” concludes Mr Dollimore. “That means making our cities and towns more attractive for people to walk, cycle or take public transport.”

If you would like to see better cycling and walking in your local community then take part in Cycling UK’s campaign.

Take action

Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Sponsored Advert
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Join Cycling UK to help us change lives and communities through cycling
Membership gives you peace of mind insurance, discounts in cycle shops, rides & routes – for just £3.75 a month!