Transport issues blamed for low Stockton park visits

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Ropner ParkImage source, Google
Image caption,
Ropner Park was described as "the lung" of Stockton

More than a quarter of people in Stockton have never visited a public park, councillors have been told.

Health experts have been looking at ways to get people to exercise more, after a study found one in four adults were doing less 30 minutes a week.

A strategy to get people moving aimed to make use of existing family hubs and local parks.

However a recent survey found 26% had never been to a public park, with lack of transport being raised as an issue.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said officials confirmed use of parks was low, but described it as a "complex picture". 

'Slow fuse'

Councillor Ann McCoy blamed it on lack of transport.

She said: "If we want people to be able to access parks or The Forum, in Billingham, we've got to sell the issue of transport."

Stockton Mayor Lynn Hall agreed, pointing to the "lung of Stockton", Ropner Park. 

"It is a place we should be promoting - but there is no transport to the main gates and we do not have a bus service that stops outside on Hartburn Lane," she said.

Councillor Jim Beall, cabinet member for culture, leisure and health, said: "We need to do something about it - there may be a slow fuse on this but having a group of people to drive it forward shows we recognise it's a major issue."

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