Oxfordshire commuters encouraged to walk or cycle to work by council

Oxfordshire County Council cycling champion Cllr Suzanne Bartington
Oxfordshire County Council cycling champion Cllr Suzanne Bartington

Commuters returning to work after the bank holiday are being encouraged to walk or cycle, for all or part of their journey, by Oxfordshire County Council.

The council is championing healthy alternatives to the car, which will also help to reduce congestion and pollution on the county’s roads, as well as improving people's physical and mental health.

The council's 'cycling champion', Cllr Suzanne Bartington, said: “Active travel is win, win, win - for health, the environment and local economy.

"I encourage Oxfordshire residents to try foot or bike even for only part of their journey and feel the positive benefits for themselves.”

Daily physical activity lowers the risk of depression and dementia by around 30 per cent according to the Department of Health.

Exercise also reduces the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and strokes.

The council has appointed an active and healthy travel officer, using central government funding, to assess existing walking and cycling routes.

Priority will be given to improvements and maintenance schemes designed to encourage active travel and reduce pollution, a spokesman said.

Research by DEFRA found that overall air pollution reduces the life expectancy of British people by an average of six months, a figure higher than caused by second-hand smoking and road traffic accidents.

For further information about the benefits of active travel, visit www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/whycycle