7th September 2022
Walking, wheeling and cycling to be offered on prescription in nationwide trial

Bath and North East Somerset are one of 11 areas across the country to trial social prescriptions offered by GPs including walking, wheeling and cycling. This is part of a new trial to improve mental and physical health across the country.

The government has awarded £12.7 million in multi-year funding to 11 local authority areas in England. The funding will go towards several pilot projects in each location, including:

  • adult cycle training
  • free bike loans
  • walking groups

Other schemes include all-ability cycling taster days where people who may not have cycled before can try to in a friendly environment, or walking and cycling mental health groups where people can connect with their communities as they get active.

The 11 local authority areas that will trial social prescriptions are:

  • Bath and North East Somerset
  • Bradford
  • Cornwall
  • Cumbria
  • Doncaster
  • Gateshead
  • Leeds
  • Nottingham
  • Plymouth
  • Suffolk
  • Staffordshire

The pilots, a commitment in the government’s Gear Change plan published in 2020, aim to evaluate the impact of cycling and walking on an individual’s health, such as reduced GP appointments and reliance on medication due to more physical activity. For the first time, transport, active travel and health officials will work together towards a whole systems approach to health improvement and tackling health disparities.

Wesport will be supporting the work in Bath and North East Somerset.

Read the full Government article here for more information.