At a time when “Destination Hereford” is trying to get people into making healthy transport choices and at the same time tackling congestion, the British Medical Association (BMA) has produced a report which reinforces the impact these decisions can have on our health and that of our families. The report states that: -
“Active forms of travel, such as walking and cycling, are the most sustainable forms of transport and are associated with a number of recognised health benefits including:
- improved mental health
- a reduced risk of premature death
- prevention of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, dementia, and cancer.
Walking and cycling are also effective ways of integrating, and increasing, levels of physical activity into everyday life for the majority of the population, yet there has been a lack of investment in walking and cycling infrastructure.”
The report highlights how good transport planning can encourage walking and cycling and that Government needs to refocus transport policy. It also highlights the impact of a focus on the cars and road building has had on public health. This was something that Cllr Patricia Morgan drew attention to in the Herefordshire Cabinet meeting on Thursday 20th July, when she said it always sounded as if the transport choice was between a new road or sustainable transport. She made it clear that with the growing health problems in the county, in particular those associated with obesity, the Health and Wellbeing Board supported sustainable transport.
The press release and full report can be seen at: