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Boardman named Active Travel England commissioner

Our chair takes on the role in an interim capacity and will oversee the appointment of the body's first chief executive and management team.

Our chair Chris Boardman will lead the government’s cycling and walking executive agency after he was confirmed as the interim commissioner of the newly formed Active Travel England.

First announced in 2020, as part of the government’s £2 billion Gear Change plan for a cycling and walking revolution, Active Travel England (ATE) launched recently (22 January 2022.

It 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.

Cyclists ride on a segregated bike lane in London.

Having already delivered the first phase of Manchester’s cycling and walking public transport system, The Bee Network, Chris will now be closely involved in the recruitment of the ATE chief executive and management team.

“The positive effects of high levels of cycling and walking are clearly visible in pockets around the country where people have been given easy and safe alternatives to driving,” said the Barcelona 1992 Olympic gold medallist – who’s been appointed on an interim basis while the Department for Transport conduct a full and open competition for the permanent role.

“Perhaps most important of all, though, it makes for better places to live while helping both the NHS and our mission to decarbonise.  

“The time has come to build on those pockets of best practice and enable the whole nation to travel easily and safely around their neighbourhoods without feeling compelled to rely on cars. I’m honoured to be asked to lead on this and help deliver the ambitious vision laid out in the government’s Gear Change strategy and other local transport policies. 

“This will be a legacy we will 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.” 

ATE’s remit will see them be a statutory consultee on major planning applications, to ensure the largest new developments properly cater for pedestrians and cyclists.

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