Dame Sarah Storey has outlined four pledges which will guide her work in the Sheffield City Region over the next 12 months.
Storey, who was announced as the region’s first Active Travel Commissioner in April, announced her ambitions at the first summit of active travel commissioners from across the country, held in Manchester.
Storey’s four pledges are as follows: being led by communities, enabling walking and cycling rather than encouraging it, requiring infrastructure to meet or exceed requirements, and requiring infrastructure to be accessible for all.
Alongside these pledges, she also announced a number of ambitions for the next year, such as starting a region-wide conversation about enabling active travel. Storey also hopes to meet with the Police and Crime Commissioner to request a safer approach to cycling and walking, and aims to launch an Active Travel Implementation Plan.
Sheffield Mayor, Dan Jarvis, said: “Sarah’s active travel pledges set out clear ambitions for the region. By prioritising active travel within our region’s transport vision, we can improve people’s health, cut carbon emissions and reduce congestion.
“I appointed Sarah because she is an exceptional, inspirational and passionate individual. She will play a crucial role in helping us to make sure that active travel remains a key priority as we make our region’s transport network fit for the 21st century. These pledges are just the start of that.”
Storey made the announcement on the same day she signed an open letter, alongside other active travel commissioners, to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and the Conservation Party’s 10 leadership candidates. The letter called for five policy changes that could transform active travel, including:
- Commitment to long-term devolved funding for cycling and walking
- A political commitment to minimum quality levels
- Reform policing and enforcement and ensure the local retention of fines
- Enable innovation by keeping road traffic regulations under review
- Transport investment decisions should account for the true cost of car use to society
Jarvis added: “This week, we also submit our bid for Transforming Cities funding to the Department for Transport. If our bid, for up to £220 million, is successful, it would enable transformational improvements to our transport network, with a strong focus on active travel. This is a crucial time for the future of transport in our region, and I’m delighted that Sarah is on this journey with us.”
Storey said: “I am at the beginning of my journey as Active Travel Commissioner and these pledges set out my ambitions for what I believe can be achieved. As someone who’s passionate about active travel, and through my policy work with British Cycling, I am determined to inspire a new way of thinking about travelling by bike or on foot in the region.
“I will listen to our communities and speak to politicians to enable more peopel to travel on foot, by bike or using public transport across the region. I will make sure our transport infrastructure is safe for cyclists and pedestrians and accessible for all.”