Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Nice to see you, to see you NICE

We repeatedly lobbied Harrogate hospital this year to ask them to encourage cycling for their staff. We offered our help. They did nothing. In fact they never really answered our letters at all. Indifference would be a fair description of the response we got.

North Yorkshire County Council have no plan in place to develop cycle infrastructure, have no cycle officer, spend no money on adult cycle training and have refused all the offers we have made to work with them to address these issues. They have just removed the only forum for consulting with local cyclists.

Wouldn't it be ironic if a respected and influential national body issued guidance that said the NHS and Local authorities should actively work to promote cycling? That these kinds of exercise are some of the best ways of reducing heart disease. Imagine if they said not exercising enough is as bad for you as smoking? Try and think how it would be if they said that transport planners and health promoters at local level should always consider cycling and walking in the decisions they make?

Just think how it would be if they said that a multi agency integrated approach is required?
...requires action on many fronts – and by many different sectors. A range of issues have to be addressed, including environmental, social, financial and personal factors.
What if they specifically said that better cycling infrastructure is part of the solution?
...measures to reduce road dangers and to reallocate road space to create a more supportive environment.
How would it be If they said that this was urgent and should happen now? That if we reached cycling levels like Denmark and the Netherlands we would save the NHS billions?

Finally if your mind can hold the idea, what if they said that they have multiple pieces of data that show that this action will work and that is why they are making this recommendation?

Well that just happened and a whole lot more. The NICE people who make evidence based recommendations about the safety and effectiveness of drugs and vaccinations, have now issued guidance that says this and more. They have said that we can save lives by getting people to walk and cycle. That 2/3 of the UK adult population are so inactive their health is at risk and that many people die because of their inactivity.

This is dynamite, Local government needs to do more to promote cycling. the NHS needs to do more to promote cycling, people like cycle Harrogate need to do more do promote cycling.

Well look we are trying to do our bit for free and with vigour but we are keen amateurs  We are a few people who speak for a few hundred more. We are asking for change. We are asking to work with local government and local agencies, we want to help, not to spend our time whinging at you, but we need dialogue and discussion not the door slamming in our face. Thus far we have been treated like the disease rather than part of the cure.

Are you doing all you should to promote and make simple daily cycling North Yorkshire County Council transport department? Could we help?

Are you doing all you should to promote and encourage cycling Harrogate District Hospital? Could we Help?

Here is a link to the nice guidance
this is the press release
here is the supporting evidence


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