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A new five-kilometre route for walkers, joggers and runners has been marked out in blue to give Bicester residents a new means of staying active.
The route around Langford Village in south-east Bicester is the first to be line-painted and highlights easy-access into green open spaces such as Langford Park, the community orchard and Jubilee Lake, and passes by Langford Primary School, local shops, and the community café on Peregrine Way.
The ‘health routes’, funded by NHS England, are part of the Bicester Healthy New Town Programme whose core members are Cherwell District Council, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Oxford Academic Health Science Network and A2 Dominion Housing Group. One key aim of the programme is to increase physical activity amongst residents making Bicester a ‘walkable and cycleable community’.
“The health routes offer residents a new place to exercise outdoors and make it easy for them to measure the distance they walk or run, encouraging them to build their fitness levels. Whether they like a gentle stroll or prefer to sprint, I would invite them to give it a go.
“One in five residents in Bicester is physically inactive. We know that inactivity is responsible for one in six premature deaths and 40 percent of long-term medical conditions and in Oxfordshire it costs local authorities £14m per year.
“The council, through the Healthy New Town programme, is committed to providing residents with more tools to help them embark on regular exercise. This marked route is completely free to use and I am sure it will also bring opportunities for extra social activities as users can get together with friends or meet up with people along the way.”
The ‘health routes’ are approximately five kilometres in length. They are inclusive and accessible as they are designed with minimised steps along the route to accommodate wheelchair users, people with pushchairs or those with walking aids. Completing a full five kilometres will go a long way towards getting the recommended level of daily exercise.
The next health route will be painted in east Bicester, from Skimmingdish Lane to just south of the railway line, with a further route planned for west Bicester, to include Bure Park.
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