Covid stories part 16 — #buildbackbetter part 2
And so on to part 2 of the obesity masterplan … let’s get everyone cycling everywhere.
50,000 vouchers of £50 each to repair your bike. £2.5m. Website crashes. Headlines everywhere — not all good, but it has an attractive feel.
But if this is part of reducing obesity, increasing exercise … surely you target it at those least likely to cycle (or who don’t have bikes in the first place) … so you take a look at the Government’s own data on the subject — Active Lives Survey — and you find that it is the highest social economic groups (A/Bs) that cycle significantly more than the rest.
So then you go to the next stage and maybe even find what are the barriers to cycling for the lower social economic groups. Of course, lower social economic groups aren’t a homogenous group with the same motivations, but we also know that there are a lot of cross-overs with disability and ethnicity. We also know that people who live in cities are less active than those in rural areas.
So one might think if there is a limited amount of money, one would target it at those most at risk of dying from Coronavirus if they contract the pandemic. Those from lower social economic groups, particularly BAME groups or those with diabetes or who are obese … I guess it depends on what the objective is for the scheme. One could even argue that if you read up on the barriers, it is the perceived risk of cycling in inner-city areas and therefore one should put more money into cycling infrastructure, including safe storage for bikes.
Instead, I wonder who picked up these 50,000 vouchers … the digitally literate, the ABs, the affluent most likely … those who already cycle…
talk about #buildbackbetter