Birmingham-based transport, engineering and placemaking consultancy PJA has secured a role in the consultant team helping to shape the new executive agency body Active Travel England (ATE).
ATE is the Department for Transport’s new cycling and walking executive agency with a £5.5 million investment to be made in cycling and walking schemes. It is responsible for driving up the standards of cycling and walking infrastructure and managing the national active travel budget, awarding funding for projects that meet the new national standards set out in 2020.
It will inspect finished schemes and ask for funds to be returned for any that have not been completed as promised or have not started or finished by the stipulated times.
As part of the consultant team, PJA will help establish processes and protocols, as well as carry out inspections of planned designs referring to Local Transport Note 1/20 which PJA authored.
Chris Sibthorpe, PJA’s active travel director, said: “We are delighted to be part of the consultancy team assisting DfT, local authorities and developers in meeting higher standards of infrastructure design for walking and cycling so that these become mainstream activities for short trips.
“With the climate change emergency and focus on health and wellbeing following the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for thoughtfully designed streets to enable walking and cycling has never been greater.”
As well as approving and inspecting schemes, ATE will help local authorities to train staff in spreading good practice in design, implementation and public engagement.
Earlier this month it was announced that Chris Boardman will become national commissioner of the ATE. Boardman will be closely involved in the full stand-up of ATE, including the recruitment of the chief executive and management team. He has been appointed on an interim basis, while the DfT conducts a full and open competition for the permanent commissioner role.