England’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir Chris Whitty, is one of 4 personalities to join a new advisory board, Active Travel England, today (22 October 2022).
Alongside West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, Office of Rail and Road Chairman Declan Collier and Arup Global Head of Transport Isabel Dedring, Whitty will support Active Travel England’s aim of make walking, cycling and biking the first choice for daily commuting. .
National Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman said:
Active travel is a key part of delivering many of the government’s top priorities, so we want to tie into these programs from the start. Providing healthy, low-cost transportation options to schools, stores, and workplaces will revitalize high streets across the country and help us decarbonize at the same time. Active Travel England was set up to ensure healthy and sustainable growth in transport, and I’m delighted we now have such amazing experts to help us get the job done.
Active Travel Minister Baroness Vere added:
This new advisory board will be key to supporting the government’s ambition to get more people to walk, ride and cycle by transforming active transportation infrastructure across the country.
Better infrastructure will not only improve connections to local employment, education and services, but will also improve our mental and physical well-being and contribute to a better country. I look forward to working with Sir Chris, Andy, Declan and Isabel to achieve this.
The advisory committee will meet quarterly with a mix of online and in-person meetings. Appointments were made on a voluntary basis, with fees paid where applicable. The first meeting will take place at the end of October.
England’s chief medical officer Sir Chris Whitty said:
Exercise improves health and Active Travel England’s mission is shared by the health service. We all want to see more people incorporate active travel into their day as a way to stay mentally and physically fit.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street added:
Active Travel England will be best placed to succeed as a delivery agency if they work closely with local mayors as well as combined and local authorities. That’s why I look forward to helping make sure that ATE can make a real and fast difference across England. Enabling more local trips to be made on foot or by bicycle can improve the travel experience, encourage a healthier lifestyle and help us tackle the climate emergency. Increasing the use of walking and cycling is central to our vision to establish a truly integrated transport network here in the West Midlands and can support local economic growth by breathing new life into our high streets.
Isabel Dedring, Arup’s Global Head of Transport and former Deputy Mayor of London, said:
Delivering a step change in active travel takes focus and determination, but it also requires attention to detail, meaningful engagement with communities and their real needs, and integration with the transportation network. wider. The UK is seen as a leader in many aspects of progressive transport policy and has a fantastic chance through Active Travel England to maintain its leading position in this rapidly developing field.
Office of Rail and Road chairman Declan Collier said:
Making local trips, on foot or on two wheels, is an excellent way to improve physical health but also mental well-being. For those wishing to go further on foot or by bike, the English rail and road networks will get you there. I look forward to getting started and working with the other panel members to make positive changes in people’s lives.
Expert Advisor Biographies
Isabel Dedring is Global Transport Leader for Arup, a leading engineering consultancy working in the built environment. It works with cities and governments around the world to develop transport infrastructure projects and policies.
Prior to Arup, Isabel was Deputy Mayor for Transport and Vice President of Transport for London, where she was responsible for the design and delivery of a range of progressive transport policies and projects. This included driving the transition to zero-emission black cabs, decarbonising the city’s bus fleet, London’s £1 billion cycling investment program and TfLof the road investment strategy and the £4 billion delivery programme.
Prior to her time at City Hall, Isabel was chief of staff and director of policy at Transport for London. With a background in management consulting, Isabel is a WE lawyer and member of the Institute of Civil Engineers.
Mr. Chris Whitty
Professor Chris Whitty is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, Chief Medical Adviser of the UK Government and leader of the public health profession in government. He is practicing NHS physician and epidemiologist. The CMO of the 4 nations publish guidelines on the merits of exercise to improve health, incorporating it into daily routines.
Declan Collier is Chairman of the Office of Rail and Road. Previously, Declan was CEO of London City Airport, a position he had held since 2012, and before that he was CEO from Dublin Airport Authority for 7 years. He is currently a non-executive board member of Royal Schiphol Group and TCR International NV. He has extensive experience in transportation and business and was President of the World Association of Airports, Airports Council International (AIT), vice-president of the Airport Operators Association (UK), Director of London First Allied Irish Banks ltd and the Dublin Theater Festival.
Andy Street was elected Mayor of the West Midlands in 2017. He grew up in Birmingham. Andy began his career at John Lewis, where he was a graduate trainee. He became Managing Director of John Lewis in 2007 and remained with the company until 2016. Andy has worked with local and national government in economic development roles. He was Chairman of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership between 2011 and 2016. He was also the Principal Non-Executive Director of the Department for Communities and Local Government as well as a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group.