The Department for Transport has officially launched its new executive agency, Active Travel England (ATE), which will be responsible for active travel spend and measuring performance.
ATE will manage the national active travel budget, awarding funding for projects which meet the new national standards set out in 2020. It will inspect finished schemes and ask for funds to be returned for any which have not been completed as promised, or which 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, training staff and 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.
Announcing to the House, Transport Minister, Trudy Harrison said: “This government is investing a record amount in active travel to help deliver our priorities for a healthy, safe and carbon-neutral transport system. ATE will work to ensure that this, and wider transport investment, is well spent, and will help raise the standard of cycling and walking infrastructure.
“ATE’s establishment follows the government’s unprecedented commitment of £2 billion for cycling and walking over this parliament and comes in the wake of our ambitious Gear Change strategy to transform active travel. I am also pleased to confirm the appointment of Chris Boardman MBE as the first Active Travel Commissioner for England. He will take the helm on an interim basis to spearhead the establishment of ATE.”
ATE will become fully operational later in 2022.