The latest advice from NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) is to put Active Travel (walking, cycling) at the heart of the Health Service to help combat avoidable forms of disease. We agree. Their 126 page document entitled ‘Walking and cycling: local measures to promote walking and cycling as forms of travel or recreation’ is available for download here: NICE Active Travel Nov 2012
Cycle Seahaven are particulary keen to see that Nice recommend that councils ‘Develop coordinated, cross-sector programmes to promote walking and cycling for recreation as well as for transport purposes,’. This is a change from the central directive that only ‘Utility cycling’ (transport to schools, work, shops) would be funded. By including recreational cycling we are more likely to see people get on thier bikes for fun, which as an outcome will lead to more utility cycling.
For regular cyclists most of this will be seen as common sense, but it’s good news to see if written down. Now that ESCC have additional funding options, Cycle Seahaven and Cycle East Sussex will refer to this NICE document when campaigning for better cycling provision within the Seahaven area.
The Government has recently announced that councils will be able to divert Health spending onto Active Travel. More on that story here.