Funding allocations for 11 English local authorities taking part in a £13.9m trial that enables health workers to prescribe walking and cycling to patients have been published by Active Travel England (ATE).
The active travel social prescribing scheme, which was launched in August 2022, aims to help councils launch a range of projects designed to evaluate the impact of walking and cycling on an individual’s physical and mental health, such as through reduced demand for healthcare appointments and reliance on medication due to more physical activity.
Recipients include Bradford City Council, which has received £1.34m to deliver projects that will see patients offered free access to guided walking and cycling activities, cycle training and bike loans.
In Plymouth, the council will use £1.2m to help tackle patients’ individual barriers to active travel by working with them to develop personal walking and cycling plans.
Active Travel England commissioner Chris Boardman said: “Many studies have shown active travel has massive health benefits.
“Enabling everyone in England to travel under their own steam will help reduce conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, whilst at the same time, improving mental wellbeing.
“We aim to use these trials to build on the existing evidence to show how bringing transport, active travel and health together can help build a healthier nation in an easy and sustainable way.”
ATE has also published the breakdown of funding for its £32.9m capability fund, initially announced in January, to help 78 councils in England design, develop and consult on active travel schemes that work for residents.
The funding will also be used to deliver training and engagement activities that give people the choice to walk, wheel and cycle.
The full list of allocations for the £13.9m social prescribing fund:
- Bath & North East Somerset Council – £1,612,773
- City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council – £1,340,145
- Cornwall Council – £844,641
- Cumbria County Council – £1,496,432
- Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council – £665,000
- Gateshead Council – £1,431,240
- Leeds City Council – £1,373,444
- Nottingham City Council – £1,588,785
- Plymouth City Council – £1,241,722
- Staffordshire County Council – £834,458
- Suffolk County Council – £1,490,506