‘Repair your bike’ vouchers launch, as medical doctors to prescribe bikes on NHS
A authorities scheme providing £50 bike restore vouchers will launch in England on Tuesday as a part of plans to spice up biking and strolling.
An preliminary 50,000 vouchers shall be made out there on-line on a primary come, first served foundation.
The prime minister additionally introduced that bikes shall be made out there on the NHS as a part of the technique.
However Labour mentioned lots of the authorities’s proposals had been taking too lengthy to come back into impact.
It comes after the federal government launched its weight problems technique on Monday.
GPs in areas of England with poor well being shall be inspired to prescribe biking, and sufferers capable of entry bikes by way of their native surgical procedure.
Current Public Well being England analysis discovered that being chubby or overweight places individuals at higher danger of significant sickness or loss of life from Covid-19.
Authorities statistics confirmed almost 8% of critically unwell sufferers in intensive care items with the virus have been morbidly overweight, in contrast with 2.9% of the overall inhabitants.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson mentioned biking and strolling have “an enormous function to play” in tackling well being and environmental challenges.
“However to construct a more healthy, extra energetic nation, we want the fitting infrastructure, coaching and help in place to present individuals the boldness to journey on two wheels,” he mentioned.
“That is why now could be the time to shift gears and press forward with our greatest and boldest plans but to spice up energetic journey – so that everybody can really feel the transformative advantages of biking.”
‘Repair Your Bike’ vouchers
The federal government’s “Repair Your Bike” vouchers are being launched in batches “to assist handle capability” and in order that the scheme will be monitored earlier than being rolled out extra extensively, the federal government mentioned.
They may usually cowl the invoice for the standard service and the substitute of a fundamental part resembling an interior tube or cable.
Throughout a Downing Road briefing in Could, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned the initiative can be “out there from subsequent month”.
However the Division for Transport (DfT) mentioned in July that it could solely start when upkeep outlets might deal with the anticipated spike in demand.
Halfords mentioned it has hundreds of slots out there every day for patrons to deliver their bikes into shops to establish potential faults which could possibly be rectified below the scheme.
“We expect the federal government’s ‘Repair Your Bike’ voucher scheme is not going to solely assist people change into extra assured about retaining their bikes maintained, however will assist pace up the biking revolution,” mentioned chief govt Graham Stapleton.
The retailer beforehand reported that bike gross sales had risen by 57.1% within the 13 weeks to three July, as individuals sought to keep away from public transport throughout lockdown.
1000’s of miles of latest protected cycle lanes, cycle coaching for kids and adults, and the creation of the UK’s first zero-emission transport metropolis are additionally a part of the plans to advertise biking and strolling.
Different measures to enhance the wellbeing of pedestrians and cyclists embrace strengthening the Freeway Code, enhancing authorized protections, rising lorry security requirements and dealing with the police and retailers to sort out bike thefts.
The plans shall be funded by a £2bn funding introduced in February.
Mr Shapps mentioned this can be a “as soon as in a lifetime alternative to create a shift in attitudes” to make biking or strolling a part of every day routines.
“The measures we have set out right this moment on this revolutionary plan will do exactly that,” he added.
Matt Mallinder, director of the charity Biking UK, mentioned the plan “locations biking on the coronary heart of our cities and cities”.
However he referred to as for much more funding “to actually shift gears so that everybody can really feel the transformative advantages of biking”.
Kerry McCarthy, Labour shadow biking minister additionally mentioned that the Conservative celebration had “did not seize the chance this disaster has posed”.
“Though funding is welcome, cyclists shall be rightly involved about how lengthy it’s going to take to truly put these plans into apply.
“No-one needs a return to the degrees of air pollution and congestion we noticed earlier than the lockdown started, however, if we fail to make our roads secure sufficient to cycle, individuals will revert again to taking the automobile.”
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