Campaign launches to encourage 'healthy little trips'

Cycle path on Grace Way in Stevenage

Hertfordshire County Council has launched a campaign to encourage more people to walk, cycle or take a bus for short journeys - Credit: Google Maps

A Healthy Little Trips campaign has launched, encouraging Herts residents to think about walking, cycling or using the bus for short journeys, instead of the car.

Hertfordshire County Council's campaign focuses on the benefits to mental and physical health, air quality and traffic congestion that these small changes can have.

Councillor Phil Bibby, executive member for highways and transport, said: “There are so many benefits for all of us to be that little bit more active. Those short trips we can make by walking, cycling, scooting or using the bus can really help. Parents and children provide a great example by doing just that on the daily journey to and from school.

“The council has a vision to create a cleaner, greener and healthier Hertfordshire, providing a better environment as well as sustainable, responsible growth in our county. Helping us to be that little bit more active can only help achieve this.”

The council’s team of Bikeability instructors trained 7,500 cyclists countywide last year, and senior cycle instructor Tina Walker, who runs Bikeability classes in Stevenage, said: “The children are always very excited to get on their bikes and it’s lovely to gradually see their confidence increase, not just in their cycling skills but in other aspects of their life too.

“Seeing the children’s smiling faces at the end of a course is a really rewarding part of the job – when someone learns to ride it gives you a big grin. You can see their new skills changing the concept of themselves."

Tina is also a director of Stevenage Cycling Hub, based at Fairlands Valley Park in Stevenage. The hub provides a variety of cycling-related activities, including cycle training, bike servicing and repairs, guided social rides and bike hire.

A new web page, hertfordshire.gov.uk/littletrips, has just been launched to provide hints, tips and news of events and activities taking place across the county, helping to get people out and about more.

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The council has also recently been awarded £2.6m from the Department for Transport to provide additional walking and cycling projects across Herts. This is in addition to the £6.4m the council received in November 2020.