PM tells nation: 'Lose weight & get on your bike'

Bike repair vouchers are up for grabs along with new apps to help people slim down, under a major public health drive launched by prime minister Boris Johnson.
Photo of bike stand at Reading train station

People are being urged to lose weight and take up cycling under national initiatives launched by the prime minister.

An NHS Better Health campaign aims to give people tools to lose weight, on the back of evidence that obesity can make you more likely to become seriously ill with Covid-19.

GPs will also be encouraged to issues ‘cycling prescriptions’ to people living in deprived areas, and £50 bike repair vouchers are also being made available to the public.

How the Better Health campaign could help you

  • Visit the Better Health NHS webpage with top tips
  • Use a new app called the NHS Weight Loss Plan, to follow for 12 weeks
  • Get discounts at Weight Watchers, Slimming World or Get Slim
  • Get a discount on membership of the Man vs Fat football league
  • Find out about useful apps like BMI Calculator, Food Scanner and Couch to 5K

Find out more

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said: “Losing weight is hard but with some small changes we can all feel fitter and healthier. If we all do our bit, we can reduce our health risks and protect ourselves against coronavirus – as well as taking pressure off the NHS.”

Cycling plans to help you get on two wheels

  • Get a £50 voucher towards the cost of repairing an old bike at an approved shop
  • Places with poor health rates will offer bikes through local GP surgeries
  • New cycle lanes in towns and cities
  • More low traffic neighbourhoods and possible street closures near schools
  • 12 areas in England to become cycle-friendly ‘Mini Hollands’
  • A national e-bike programme to help you if you're older, less fit or need to go far

Find out more

In the past month, Reading Borough Council has put in new cycling lanes on Reading bridge and will soon finish new cycle lanes along the Oxford Road – from Norcot Road to the edge of the borough boundary to the west – Southampton Street, Silver Street, Mount Pleasant and Whitley Street.  A new cycle scheme is also due in Redlands Road in August.

One-way systems are also going to be trialled along Gosbrook Road (Westfield Road to Prospect Street) and Westfield Road (Henley Road junction to Gosbrook Road), in Caversham, to increase capacity for walking and cycling.  A new one-way system at Sidmouth Street, with the introduction of a segregated new two-way cycle lane – is also expected to launch soon.

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