I am pleased to report further progress on Active Travel England, the new executive agency that will help deliver on this government’s £2 billion commitment to active travel and create a new golden age of walking and cycling.
A number of senior management appointments have now been made for Active Travel England. Chris Boardman MBE has been confirmed as an active National Travel Commissioner of England on a permanent basis.
Following his appointment as Acting Commissioner earlier this year, he will continue to lead Active Travel England and chair the interim Board of Directors which has now been created.
The Ministry of Transport (DfT) expects to be able to confirm shortly the appointment of Danny Williams as Managing Director of Active Travel England, who will take up his full-time role in August.
He will bring a wealth of experience to this role through the successful creation and growth of large companies and start-ups and his dedicated campaign for improving walking and cycling provision.
Louise Wilkinson has been appointed chief operating officer of Active Travel England. She has a successful career in financial management for the civil service and local government and recently served as Deputy Director of Finance in the Cabinet Office.
The ministry expects to confirm the appointment of Graham Grant as Director of Planning shortly. He was until recently Deputy Director of Transport at Newcastle City Council.
Brian Deegan also started as Director of Inspections. He has successfully developed and delivered street designs to improve active travel in Greater Manchester and London and will work with local authorities to design high quality projects. A small number of DfT the employees will also be transferred to the new entity.
Although there are only a handful of agents in place, Active Travel England has already started to deliver significant benefits, in line with Gear Change’s commitment to bring about a step change in the quality of walking infrastructure and cycling.
It has assessed and awarded £161 million in funding for 134 Active Travel Fund projects, announced on May 14, 2022, which will deliver high quality programs in 46 authorities in England, outside of London. This initial work will make it possible to make 16 million additional trips by bicycle and on foot each year.
He has also developed a suite of tools that will help local active transportation projects deliver high quality infrastructure and he has organized training and engagement events for local authorities. His work will dramatically improve the value for money of cycling and walking programs.
Improving the supply of active travel has many advantages. It will play an important role in improving the nation’s health by reducing physical inactivity and is key to the government’s commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. A better walking offer and cycling will also help make local areas greener, healthier and better places to live.