Boardman looks to 'change travel culture of a nation'


Ministers have confirmed the permanent appointment of Chris Boardman as England’s active travel commissioner and announced a raft of appointments to lead Active Travel England.

Mr Boardman (pictured), who has been interim commissioner since January, will head up the new executive agency alongside chief executive officer Danny Williams and chief operating officer Louise Wilkinson.

Mr Williams has spent over 25 years leading media businesses, and in his spare time has advocated for change in how villages, towns and cities approach walking and cycling. He was a member of the Mayor of London’s Roads Task Force under Boris Johnson.

Ms Wilkinson has worked in strategic finance and accounting within the civil service and local government. Most recently, she has worked for the Cabinet Office as a deputy director of finance.

Active Travel England also announced Graham Grant, currently assistant director of transport at Newcastle City Council, as its director of planning and development.

Cycling minister Trudy Harrison said: ‘Today’s appointments are another great step for Active Travel England as it continues to make sure getting around our towns and cities on foot or by bike is an easy and attractive option.

‘Chris, Danny, Louise and the rest of the incoming team are hugely respected experts in their field and are dedicated to making people-friendly streets a reality. I wish them every success and will do all I can to support them.’

Mr Boardman said: ‘To help change the travel culture of a nation is by far the most important thing I have ever, or will ever, be involved in. For cycling and walking to become the natural choice for shorter journeys, people must feel safe and the options must be easy.

‘Active Travel England aims to help local authorities across the country deliver that environment, so that people can get to schools, shops and workplaces under their own steam. That’s the kind of place people want to live and the freedoms they want for their children.’

Mr Boardman has been appointed with immediate effect, while Mr Williams and Ms Wilkinson are expected to take up their posts in August and Mr Grant to join in the autumn.

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