The Urban Transport Group has today welcomed the Department of Health and Social Care’s ‘Prevention is better than cure’ vision, whilst also highlighting the crucial role that transport will play in achieving it.
The government’s vision places prevention at the heart of the nation’s health by seeking to stop health problems arising in the first place and supporting people to manage these when they do occur.
The vision rightly recognises the importance of cycling and walking for mental and physical health, and the need to work across local government to tackle the root causes of poor health.
Tobyn Hughes, Chair of Urban Transport Group and Managing Director of Nexus, said:
“Transport plays a crucial role in keeping people healthy, a role which encompasses – and extends far beyond – promoting active travel. Walking and cycling are among the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways of encouraging daily physical activity, but our transport choices also affect the air we breathe and the quality of life we lead.
“The more we walk, cycle or use public transport, the cleaner and healthier our air will be. Ensuring these modes are available, affordable, accessible and acceptable to all opens up a number of opportunities for leading a happy and healthy life.”
Urban Transport Group recently launched a completely revised and updated Health and Wellbeing web hub, the UK’s only web resource bringing together the evidence base for the connections between health and transport, with resources aimed at supporting the two sectors to understand one another, and work effectively together.
Tobyn Hughes added:
“We welcome the Department’s commitment to take a cross-sector approach to preventing ill health and realising the potential of local authorities to influence health and wellbeing.
“There are still dots to be joined to improve collaboration including better recognition of the health benefits of investing in transport, ensuring decisions on the location of healthcare facilities take account of local transport provision and understanding one another’s priorities, policies and processes. We encourage health and transport professionals alike to make use of our one-stop web-hub to explore the evidence base for transport’s role in promoting good health and to access tools for joint-working.”