Isle of Wight Council

Sports Development Unit

Walking & Cycle Projects


There are so many benefits to walking and cycling. Below are our top five reasons:

  • improves mental well-being - exercise can boost your mood with the release of adrenalin and endorphins. It can improve confidence that comes from achieving new things.
  • improves lung health - exercise helps to strengthen your lungs. People who walk or cycle are also exposed to fewer dangerous fumes than those who travel by car.
  • improves brain power - exercise has been repeatedly linked to brain health and the reduction of cognitive changes that can lead to dementia later in life. 
  • strengthens your immune system - exercise has huge benefits on the health of the upper respiratory system, such as reducing instances of the common cold. There are also many other exercise related health benefits.
  • environmental & public health benefits - climate is changing and transportation is a leading cause. Reducing traffic by choosing to walk or cycle can lead to positive environmental benefits.

The sports unit actively promotes programmes that will support walking and cycling. Further details can be found below.

Health walks

The health walks programme supports local people to experience the benefits of getting out and staying active. It helps to improve your mental and physical wellbeing and reduce social isolation.

The groups are led by friendly, specially trained volunteers. The volunteers are on hand to provide encouragement and support, and make sure no one gets left behind.  The walks are short and over easy terrain. They are open to everyone but are especially aimed at those who are least active.

Local cycling and walking infrastructure plan (LCWIP)

We successfully applied to the Department for Transport for support to develop a plan to improve walking and cycling infrastructure. The initial LCWIP has been developed for the Ryde gateway and Newport town. There is also a view to expand this to cover the whole island over time.

LCWIPs are identified in the government’s strategy as a new tool to identify strategic cycling and walking improvements at a local level. They enable a long-term approach to developing local cycling and walking networks.