British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom was seen riding a made-in-India Hero bicycle at the launch of the country's GBP 2 billion cycling and walking initiative that is aimed at fighting Covid-19 using an anti-obesity strategy.

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

The British Prime Minister was seen riding a Hero Viking Pro bicycle at the Canalside Heritage Center at Beeston in Nottingham. Fifty-six Boris Johnson unveiled plans that the British Government has for thousands of kilometers of new bike lanes, training for everyone, and interestingly, bikes available on prescription.

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

Mr Prime Minister, who is a Covid-19 survivor said, "From helping people get fit and healthy and lowering their risk of illness, to improving air quality and cutting congestion, cycling and walking have a huge role to play in tackling some of the biggest health and environmental challenges that we face."

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

"But to build a healthier, more active nation, we need the right infrastructure, training and support in place to give people the confidence to travel on two wheels. That's why now is the time to shift gears and press ahead with our biggest and boldest plans yet to boost active travel so that everyone can feel the transformative benefits of cycling," he added.

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

The bicycle used by the Prime Minister is sold under Hero Motors owned Insync brand that designs bicycles in Manchester, but manufactures them in India.

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

Hero Cycles acquired the Viking, Riddick and Ryedale brands and redesigned its entire range of bicycles, and now sells them under the Insync name. The brands sell 75 different products that have been designed at the Hero Cycles Global design Center in Manchester.

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

Mr Pankaj Munjal, the Chairman and Managing Director at Hero Motor Company, that includes Hero Cycles, Insync, & the Viking and Lectro brands, said, "Insync is delighted that the Prime Minister rode one of our Viking bikes after announcing what will be a landmark moment for cycling in the UK."

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

"We strongly back all the measures announced in the strategy, a move we hope will see many more thousands of people taking to the roads on two wheels. Providing safer cycle routes, funding towards e-bikes and a bike repairs scheme will encourage even more riders to return to cycling or take it up for the first time, building on the stand-out success the industry has seen during the pandemic," he added.

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

Mr Johnson's new plan is designed to be effective over the long term and aims to increase active travel. The plans involve training children and adults to be better cyclists via schools, local authorities, and via cycle training schemes.

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

The Prime Minister's Office announced the plans after the ‘Better Health' campaign that was kicked off by Public Health England. The Better Health initiative aims at helping people switch to a healthier lifestyle and lose weight to fight multiple diseases, including Covid-19.

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

The British Government is in the process of laying down more cycle racks at transport hubs, tows, city centers, and at public buildings.Part of the investment is to be diverted towards building new bike hangars and street storage units for those who do not have space for a bicycle at home.

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

The Government has also set up an Active Travel England Inspectorate that is responsible for the country's cycling budget. The Inspectorate will also ensure that cycling related schemes are compliant with the country's new infrastructure standards.

British PM Boris Johnson Rides Hero Bicycle At Launch Of UK’s Cycling & Walking Initiative

Thoughts About The British Government's Active Travel England Drive

Meanwhile in India, the Government is still trying to get people to understand the concept of social distancing and the importance of wearing face masks when out in public - creating a budget and implementing something like bicycling is a long way off. Pedestrians in India do not have decent footpaths to walk on at the moment, so we think cycling tracks are about 15 years away.

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Article Published On: Thursday, July 30, 2020, 13:56 [IST]
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