The Isle of Man Government has launched a new £3.8m active travel programme, with the aim of getting more than 20% of residents walking and cycling their everyday journeys by 2021.
The programme, which will be led by the walking and cycling charity Sustrans, was launched on 8 October at Ballakermeen High School – where funding will be used to reduce congestion and improve cycle facilities.
Sustrans says it will work with the Isle of Man Government to deliver changes including improved signage, high quality cycle routes and traffic calming.
The charity will also work directly with local businesses, schools and communities to encourage more people to travel by foot or bicycle.
Graham Cregeen MHK, minister for education, sport and culture, said: “I’m pleased that trials are set to take place here at Ballakermeen in relation to crossings, better signage and improved bike facilities.
“In addition, Sustrans will be working with us to reduce traffic issues at drop-off and pick-up times.
“I am impressed with the focus placed on bicycle maintenance, and perhaps using the skills of community groups such as Men in Sheds. This is a great idea – I’d like to see youth clubs across the Island getting involved as well, as the active travel programme develops.”
Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans’ director, said: “Increasing everyday levels of active travel significantly benefits health and wellbeing, can boost local economies and create more pleasant local environments to live in and travel through.
“We know from our research that when better walking and cycling routes are provided, alongside community engagement programmes, uptake in cycling and walking increases dramatically.
“This is why we’re delighted that the Isle of Man Government is investing in more dedicated cycling and walking routes which help to create low traffic neighbourhoods – where riding a bike or walking become the easiest way of travelling for short journeys.”