Bikes will be made available on the NHS as part of the government’s “biggest and boldest plans” to boost active travel, Boris Johnson has announced.
The Prime Minister said GPs in areas of England with poor health will be encouraged to prescribe cycling, and patients able to access bikes through their local surgery.
He also revealed that the delayed scheme offering £50 vouchers towards the cost of fixing a bike will go live on Tuesday.
Thousands of miles of new protected cycle lanes, cycle training for any child or adult, and the creation of the UK’s first zero-emission transport city are also part of the plans to promote cycling and walking.
Other measures to raise the wellbeing of pedestrians and cyclists include strengthening the Highway Code, improving legal protections, increasing lorry safety standards and working with the police and retailers to tackle bike thefts.
The plans will be funded by a £2bn investment announced in February.
The announcement comes after the Government launched its obesity strategy on Monday.
Mr Johnson said: “From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face.
“But to build a healthier, more active nation, we need the right infrastructure, training and support in place to give people the confidence to ravel on two wheels.
“That’s why now is the time to shift gears and press ahead with our biggest and boldest plans yet to boost active travel – so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said this is a “once in a lifetime opportunity to create a shift in attitudes” to make cycling or walking part of daily routines.
“The measures we’ve set out today in this revolutionary plan will do just that,” he added.
An initial 50,000 Fix Your Bike vouchers will be made available online shortly before midnight on Tuesday on a first come, first served basis.
People who obtain a voucher by visiting https://fixyourbikevoucherscheme.est.org.uk will be able to save £50 from the cost of repairing a bike at participating bike shops.