The Big Interview: Chris Boardman MBE, Active Travel Commissioner for England

Air Quality News takes a breather with Olympic gold medalist Christ Boardman, Active Travel Commissioner for England, to discuss support available to councils for cycling infrastructure.

It’s easy to understand why cycling has switched up a gear from enthusiast’s pursuit, and one of the few sporting disciplines Great Britain can be relied on for, to a central route on the UK’s future transport road map.

Firstly, we’re a country rapidly firing up — or shutting down — engines in a bid to hit our carbon net zero target year of 2050, and pedal power is destined to play an important part in that.

Then there’s the NHS emergency; around 6.8m people are waiting for treatment at the time of writing and widespread predictions of a looming crisis within that crisis due to vast numbers of undiagnosed diseases leftover from the pandemic.

Exercise, of any kind, is known to reduce the risk of becoming obese, and help keep diabetes, chronic heart disease and cancer rates down, among other conditions.

Throw in the cost-of-living nightmare we’re all currently living in, where alternatives to wallet-depleting fuel costs, bus or rail tickets should be encouraged, and we should all be convinced.

Until recently, though, the lack of centralised body to oversee and guide on investment, consultations, infrastructure and standards within active travel, which includes, but is not limited to cycling, meant Local Authorities already stretched for resources were left to their own devices when coming up with proposals to revolutionise their transport for the greener and healthier.

It’s something Chris Boardman — MBE, 1992 Olympic gold medalist, former Greater Manchester Cycling & Walking Commissioner and now Active Travel Commissioner for England — understands only too well. You can learn how his work can help local authorities revolutionise and re-strategise their transport networks for the greener and healthier in our latest Big Interview feature, first published in the latest Air Quality News Procurement Guide, embedded below. 


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