The Department for Transport has announced that Chris Boardman is to become national commissioner of the Government’s new cycling and walking body, Active Travel England, which launches today (22 January, 2022).

Active Travel England (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 improve both health and air quality.

ATE’s establishment follows the Government's commitment of £2bn for cycling and walking over this parliament.

A young boy cycling alongside a man walking

Image: Crispin Hughes

The Department for Transport has announced that Chris Boardman is to become national commissioner of the Government’s new cycling and walking body, Active Travel England, which launches today (22 January, 2022).

Active Travel England 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 improve both health and air quality.

ATE’s establishment follows the Government's commitment of £2bn for cycling and walking over this parliament.

Stephen Edwards, Interim Chief Executive, Living Streets said:

“The creation of Active Travel England is a game-changer that will enable and inspire more people to choose healthier and cleaner ways to travel.

“We look forward to working with Chris Boardman and his team at Active Travel England to create safe, attractive and accessible streets that benefit everyone as we work towards our vision of a nation where walking is the natural choice for everyday local journeys.”

The Government is today also announcing £5.5 million of new funding for local authorities, train operators and businesses to encourage various active travel schemes, including £2.2 million to explore ‘active travel on prescription’ schemes.

The feasibility studies will develop innovative projects linking local active travel, physical activity and health networks to support people to choose to make more short journeys on foot or by cycle. The pilots will be focused in areas where health inequalities are evident, or levels of physical activity are low.

Stephen Edwards continues:

“We’re delighted that our partners at West Midlands Combined Authority have been invited to take part in the social prescribing feasibility study. Encouraging people to walk more can help reduce physical inactivity, with a short brisk walk proven to reduce the risk of long-term chronic conditions including Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers and depression. We look forward to continuing to work with WMCA to support more people to walk.”

This will be a legacy we will be proud to leave for our children and for future generations. It’s time to make it a reality; it’s time for a quiet revolution.

Chris Boardman, Active travel commissioner for England

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