The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has released a report recommending measures to increase levels of walking and cycling, to enable more healthy lifestyles.
Brake welcomes the calls, and urges policy makers to make our streets safer for walking and cycling, given that traffic danger is a major barrier in enabling people to walk and cycle more.
Last week Brake launched the GO 20 campaign alongside a coalition of charities, calling for 20mph limits to be introduced across built-up areas, so people can walk and cycle for their health and enjoyment, and for cheap and sustainable travel, without being or feeling endangered.
The NICE report recommends:
- Integrating walking and cycling routes with public transport links
- Implementing town-wide programmes to promote cycling
- Developing and implementing school travel plans that encourage children to walk or cycle all or part of the way to school
The report also urges practitioners to address infrastructure issues that may discourage people from walking, for example, traffic volume and speed, and poor safety facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. It encourages practitioners to take into account NICE's recommendations on physical activity and the environment and on road design.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “Brake welcomes these recommendations to make it easier and more appealing for people to walk and cycle. Boosting walking and cycling is good for people’s health and enjoyment, the environment and communities. However, research shows danger from fast traffic is a major barrier to getting more children and adults walking and cycling. Hence it’s crucial we make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists, to enable more of us to choose active travel and feel able to get out and enjoy our neighbourhoods. Implementing widespread 20mph limits in towns, cities and villages makes a huge difference, because slowing down gives drivers far greater chance to react and stop in time in an emergency. That’s why we’re calling on more local authorities to GO 20 – and the government to work towards 20mph being the norm in all our communities – to prevent needless casualties, and enable everyone to walk and cycle without fear.”