Dominic Browne 25 January 2013

Councils urged to design pro-cycling schemes

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) this week released a further set of local government health briefings, calling on councils to design pro-cycling and walking programmes.

Part of a range of advice to councils from the clinical body ahead of the transfer of public health responsibilities this April, the briefing stresses the importance of cycling as a means of addressing the ‘major public health risk’ associated with physical inactivity.

NICE's breifing called on local authorities to address barriers to cycling and walking such as road dangers and the perception of road dangers, and includes examples of best practice together with key data sets.

It also states planning applications for new developments ‘should support walking and cycling to prioritise the need for people to be physically active as a routine part of their life’.

Professor Mike Kelly, director of the Centre for Public Health Excellence at NICE said: ‘We hope that this practical advice will help local government to make the best use of limited funds, with the potential to save resources while improving the health of local people.’

Local transport minister Norman Baker welcomed the guidance, stating: ‘Making it easier for people to engage in active travel also benefits the local environment by reducing the amount of traffic on our roads.’

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