Repair vouchers represent only a small fraction of the multi-layered approach to the obesity problem, Boris Johnson himself has said in a statement cited by Public Sector Executive. Many miles of new cycle lanes will be built, more cycle racks will be added in high-traffic areas and even bike hangars are being considered, for those communities where people don’t have the space to keep a bike inside their homes.
Higher safety standards with an emphasis on protecting pedestrians and cyclists will be enforced, with help from the police. Also as part of the new program, which carries a total value of £2 billion (€2.2 billion / $2.57 billion), are bike “prescriptions” from local doctors for people with weight issues and free availability of bikes through local doctors' offices.
A new national e-bike program will follow suit. Meanwhile, all those who wish to learn how to ride a bike will be able to receive free training, with help from local authorities.
Johnson’s experience with an extended hospital stay of earlier this year has made him understand the pressure the NHS is currently under, given the health crisis. Adding obesity complications to it hardly seems necessary, so this is a first step in that direction.
“From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face,” PM Johnson explains. “But to build a healthier, more active nation, we need the right infrastructure, training and support in place to give people the confidence to travel on two wheels.”
“That’s why now is the time to shift gears and press ahead with our biggest and boldest plans yet to boost active travel – so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling,” Johnson adds.