News Desk: Active Travel England to create safer streets for cycling and walking to boost air quality and help improve the health and wellbeing of the nation.
Cyclist Chris Boardman is to become national commissioner of the government’s new cycling and walking body, Active Travel England (ATE), which launches today (24 January 2022).
ATE will be responsible for driving up the standards of cycling and walking infrastructure and managing the national active travel budget, awarding funding for projects that meet the new national standards set out in 2020. It will inspect finished schemes and ask for funds to be returned for any that have not been completed as promised or have not started or finished by the stipulated times.
ATE will also begin to inspect, and publish reports on, highway authorities for their performance on active travel, and identify particularly dangerous failings in their highways for cyclists and pedestrians.
As well as approving and inspecting schemes, ATE will help local authorities to train staff in spreading good practice in design, implementation and public engagement. It will be a statutory consultee on major planning applications to ensure that the largest new developments properly cater for pedestrians and cyclists.
Boardman will be closely involved in the full stand-up of ATE, including the recruitment of the chief executive and management team. He has been appointed on an interim basis, while the Department for Transport (DfT) conducts a full and open competition for the permanent commissioner role.
Chris is the country’s leading figurehead for active travel and delivered the first phase of Manchester’s public transport system known as the Bee Network.