Walking and cycling should become the norm for short journeys and should be encouraged throughout local communities says the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), in new guidance published this month.
This guidance sets out how people can be encouraged to increase the amount they walk or cycle for travel or recreational purposes. This will help meet public health and other goals (for instance, to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions).
The guidance is for commissioners, managers and practitioners involved in physical activity promotion or who work in the environment, parks and leisure or transport planning sectors. They could be working in local authorities, the NHS and other organisations in the public, private, voluntary and community sectors. In addition, it will be of interest to people who promote walking and cycling in an unpaid capacity and other members of the public.
In the context of this guidance, walking and cycling includes the use of adapted cycles (such as trikes, tandems and handcycles), wheelchairs and similar mobility aids.
Encouraging and enabling people to walk or cycle requires action on many fronts – and by many different sectors. A range of issues have to be addressed, including environmental, social, financial and personal factors.
The recommendations cover:
- local programmes
- policy and planning
- schools, workplaces and the NHS.
In addition to the recommendations made in this (and related) NICE guidance, other measures are needed to tackle the wider influences on walking or cycling. This includes measures to reduce road dangers and to reallocate road space to create a more supportive environment.
To download the NICE guidance, please visit: www.nice.org.uk/PH41