Mayor Andy Street teamed up with former Olympian David Moorcroft to launch a new keep fit campaign for the region.
They were at Coventry railway station to launch the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) physical activity strategy West Midlands On The Move.
David, the Coventry-born former Olympic middle and long distance runner and ex-chief executive of UK Athletics, joined the Mayor, WMCA and Coventry City Council staff to demonstrate a ‘human power station’.
This uses exercise bikes to generate electricity – with a work-out at the same time.
Andy Street said: “This is an issue that matters to every single citizen in the West Midlands.
“Physical inactivity is bad in some parts of the region, especially in disadvantaged areas, and we cannot be comfortable that it is not up to the same standards everywhere.
“If we don’t get this right there will be lots more demands on public services such as the NHS, and on our mental and physical health, so we must change trajectory around physical activity.
“By doing so we make the West Midlands the kind of place where active communities are vibrant and attract people into them, along with more inward investment.”
David Moorcroft is a former middle and long-distance runner who represented Great Britain at the Montreal, Moscow and Los Angeles Olympics and held the world record for the 5,000 metres.
He said: “This scheme is a fantastic idea as the West Midlands suffers from some of the lowest levels of physical activity in the country.
“There are many reasons for this, so it’s great to see the Mayor and leaders of the councils in the West Midlands working together to try and tackle it and get people active.”
Taxi drivers at the station were already queuing up for a go on the bikes and said they would like to see more.
Cabbie Tara Heer said: “It’s great for us, so much better than sitting in cars all day – this is brilliant.
“It’s good to see the Mayor here promoting this and I think we need more - in the summer it is going to be packed.”
Simon Hall, physical activity lead for the WMCA, said: “The taxi drivers using the bikes is a perfect example of what the strategy was designed for – making people think about moving more and being active.”
The WMCA produced the physical activity strategy as part of its wellbeing agenda, to promote the benefits of physical activity and promote its wide ranging social and economic benefits.
West Midlands On The Move focuses on the link between better physical activity levels and achieving the WMCA Strategic Economic Plan social and economic targets.
More information from Mark Langford, media officer, on 0121 214 7278, mobile 07824 626952, email firstname.lastname@example.org
PICTURE CAPTION: Andy Street demonstrates the human power station at Coventry Railway Station.