Lambeth CCG needs to take strong positive action to promote people walking and cycling to school and work, working in collaboration with Lambeth's Travel team.
Some thoughts of how this can be done:
a) Doctors could make a point of prescribing a cycling lesson, which is a service the council provides free of charge, to many of the patients who come to them. So, no cost to the CCG but gives a formal 'push' to patients to take up cycling, which over time is likely to reduce the call on health services.
b) Health professionals should be active in pushing for measures to reduce motor traffic volume and/or speed that is dissuading people from cycling and walking, or letting their children cycle or walk, to their school, friends or Doctor's surgery. Are there rat-runs in the vicinity of the surgery that should be closed to through motor-traffic? Why aren't there segregated cycle lanes on the main roads? How about asking patients what puts them off walking or cycling and feeding the changes needed back to local Councillors and Lambeth's Travel team?
c) 1/3rd of all London car journeys are under 2km, with 2/3rds under 5km (from TfL Road Tasks Force Technical Note 14). The medical profession needs to be sending a clear message that, generally, this is an inappropriate use of a car, and the journeys should be walked or cycled instead.
d) All pharmacies, doctors' surgeries and other health centres should have prominent and high quality cycle parking (better than the quality of car parking available). Elmcourt Health Centre and Pharmacy on Norwood Road seemed to have no cycle parking when I was by it earlier this year.
e) The CCG needs to have a clear travel policy that reduces the number and speed of motor vehicles it uses. Lambeth Council are looking to set a 20mph limit in Lambeth. Meanwhile, can CCG have a policy that their vehicles travel at a max speed of 20mph in the borough? Can deliveries be consolidated, with one courier company for example, so that multiple vans aren't dropping off single items, when one van could do the lot? Can cycle couriers be used? Do CCG members offer the 'Cycle to Work' scheme and if not they should. Does the rate of reimbursement for work journeys make cycling and walking preferable to car use? Directions on websites etc. should lead with walking and cycling options, and public transport , then taxis, over driving - which should be explicitly discouraged. Sales reps are asked/required not to arrive by car.
I really like these suggestions. I cycle in and out of work everyday and it takes a fairly confident cyclists to negotiate the streets of London!
I'm guessing that some of the suggestions - segregated cycle routes are within the gift of Lambeth council to implement. The CCG would certainly be interetsed in working with the council to enable this to happen.
Other suggestions - such as making sure GP surgeries have good cycle locking facilities we should be able to do relatively easily and quickly.
I think the suggestions on a CCG travel policy are all good, and maybe they should be part of a wider sustainability policy?