National Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman MBE has attended a meeting at Downing Street as part of the Government’s National Physical Activity Taskforce to help get millions more people involved in sport and physical activity by 2030.
Speaking at the meeting, Mr Boardman said: “We are all convinced by the case for health. A healthy nation is a happy and prosperous one but to improve the health of a nation, sustainably and quickly, we have to make activity an easy, every-day choice. One activity that connects all of us is transport.
“If Active Travel England achieves Government’s target – to get 50% of all journeys cycled or walked by 2030 – that will be three billion additional active journeys every year, leading to one million additional life years.
“The benefits of tackling health in this particular way are manifold: we’ll have improved workforce productivity, our children will have the same transport independence enjoyed by more than 60% of kids daily just 200 miles away in Europe, and we’ll reduce both local pollution and carbon emissions at the same time. All of that, in a way that’s proven to work, fast to deliver, affordable and sustainable.
“Thanks to government, we now have a new agency – Active Travel England – dedicated to delivering that change, which is good because active travel is proving very popular at a local level. We now have a £438 million backlog of local authority schemes ready to go – over and above those we are currently funding. If backed, they would deliver an additional 40 million active journeys and another 15,000 additional Iife years.
“If we continue to back and even double down on our commitment to active travel, it will do most of the heavy lifting for this task force in achieving its stated aim of getting 3.5 million more people active.”
Mr Boardman discussed some of thoughts on a recent Highways Voices podcast you can listen to here.
(Pictured: Chris Boardman outside 10 Downing Street alongside Task Force co-Chair Ugo Monye, Sport England CEO Tim Hollingsworth OBE and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jeanelle de Gruchy, courtesy of Active Travel England)