National Highways and Active Travel England announce collaboration

10.39 | 2 April 2024 |

National Highways and Active Travel England have pledged the two organisations will work more closely together to promote the benefits of active travel and a healthier future for all.  

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organisations was signed at a meeting between Nick Harris, chief executive of National Highways and Chris Boardman, national active travel commissioner for Active Travel England, to formalise stronger collaborative working.  

Under the collaboration, National Highways says it will work with Active Travel England to improve both organisations’ alignment. This includes collaborating to share data and guidance, considering opportunities for joint working and ensuring maximum value from active travel investment.   

Nick Harris said: “We are very pleased to be working more closely with Active Travel England. We have a track record of investing in active travel provision, but we want to encourage earlier consideration when developing road schemes.   

 “National Highways is developing ‘an approach to active travel’ which will set our role, vision and priorities for active travel during the next roads period. This MOU signing is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate our commitment to active travel.”    

Active Travel England became the Government’s executive agency to oversee local active travel delivery in 2022.   

In May, National Highways and Active Travel England will host its first director-level meeting to steer and oversee areas of active travel collaboration via an agreed programme. Among a number of themes set to be discussed are strategic direction and priorities as well as scheme development and engagement. 

Under the new MOU, both organisations will work to understand how active travel investment across National Highways’ roads network in the pilot area of the Tyne (A1, A19 and A194 (M)) could enable more walking and cycling for local trips to access education, employment and services. 

This will build on findings of the Study of the Urban SRN, which was undertaken in 2022 in collaboration with Transport North East and Transport for the North.  

 National Highways is also planning to include an active travel section on its website to showcase active travel scheme delivery and increase customer information about how to access active travel facilities. 

Chris Boardman said: “It’s so important that our roads are safe and accessible to everyone, which means making sure schemes consider every journey, including for everyone walking, wheeling and cycling. 

“ATE is teaming up with National Highways to make sure people can enjoy safe and pleasant journeys to work, school or the shops under their own steam. In turn they will reap the health benefits, save money and make more sustainable travel choices – it’s win-win for everyone.”



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