British doctors will soon prescribe bicycle riding to patients as part of the government's efforts to tackle obesity. This comes after PM Boris Johnson announced today that he has allotted £2 billion for the campaign which also includes free bike repair vouchers worth £50 and proper bike riding training.
The initial release of 50,000 Fix Your Bike vouchers will be available online on a first come, first served basis, which can be used in participating bike shops to repair bicycles. Vouchers may be obtained at this website address : https://fixyourbikevoucherscheme.est.org.uk .
The vouchers will be released in batches to manage volume capacity of shops. However, Halfords announced there are more than a thousand slots open for customers daily to get their bicycles assessed for potential fixes.
Bicycle charities warmly welcomed the plans included in this health revolution as massive expansion of bike lanes are now underway. This they say will greatly improve the quality of walking and cycling in the UK with the government's biggest initiative to boost healthy living and active travel.
General Practitioners located in obesity hot spots will be highly encouraged to prescribe cycling, which the PM has strongly stressed will help people get fit and healthy as well as lower their risk of illness. At the same, the government hopes this will significantly reduce pollution in cities adding that clean air is an extra boost to one's health. The UK is also drawing up plans to build its first zero-emission transport city along with more than a handful of schemes patterned with that of Holland's favourite mode of mobility.
In line with this campaign, Ministers are also vying for an e-bike program that will allow those who are not as fit or may have certain restrictive mobility due to age or disability to have more access to electric bikes.
The new anti-obesity strategy came in the wake of PM Johnson's near brush with death in the arms of the coronavirus and the spike in cycling by the usual horde of commuters during the lockdown. Its aim to get the nation's fat waistline back into shape also brings in improvements to further strengthen other aspects of city regulations such as the Highway Code, tightening lorry safety standards as well as coordinating efforts between the police and bike retailers to curb bicycle thefts.
However, government officials believe the pivotal challenge for this campaign is to build people's confidence to use bike lanes in busy streets and make them feel safe. Plans for bigger segregated bike lanes and secure bike parking are now on the table along with the development of low-traffic neighbourhoods. The scheme will be initially tested in areas with poor health and physical activity. If all goes well, plans will proceed across the country.