UK: 'Help people be more active' call

Children should be encouraged to play outside and adults to walk or cycle more, health and transport groups say.

Over 70 groups, including public health doctors and the Ramblers' Association, are asking candidates in this week's local elections to back such ideas.

They want each to pledge to invest 10% of transport budgets in walking and cycling initiatives.

The Association of Directors of Public Health said boosting activity levels would help tackle obesity.

'Move on'

The campaigners say investment would also provide other benefits of physical activity, such as lowering heart disease and cancer rates and reducing the impact of mental illness.

At the moment, less than half a per cent of transport budgets in England and Wales are spent on walking or cycling.

A report compiled by the campaign groups also calls for:-

* A 20mph speed limit to be made the norm in residential areas

* Cycle route networks to help people get to "everyday destinations"

* Better training for drivers

* Traffic laws to be properly enforced

* "Ambitious" targets to be set to encourage more people to walk and cycle

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