Combined Authority scoops high Government rating for ‘strong local leadership’ and ‘clear plans’ in active travel
Of the local authorities outside London, Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has scored among the highest for its ‘strong local leadership’ and ‘clear plans’ to make walking, wheeling and cycling attractive travel options within the region.
In this first ever review by the Department for Transport’s agency, Active Travel England, the Combined Authority was one of 30 authorities to be ranked highly at 2, with many authorities scoring only 1.
Rating 2 is for ‘strong local leadership with clear plans that form the basis of an emerging network’ with elements already in place.
There are 4 ratings, of which 0 is lowest, and 4 highest. Not one authority scored 4 – and only 5 local authorities scored 3, these being metropolitan areas. Three authorities scored 0.
The excellence rating achieved by the Combined Authority is critical to its ambitions to increase walking, cycling and wheeling networks within its mixed rural, urban and city area. Importantly, the ranking will guide how funding and other resources are allocated.
Higher rated authorities like Cambridgeshire & Peterborough are eligible to pitch for a larger share of Government funding.
Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, Dr Nik Johnson:
“This is a fantastic gold star on the ambitious plans the Combined Authority team and our council partners are turning into reality. This recognition that we’re on the right track will inspire everyone to reach ever higher to put green and active travel at the heart of our transport network.
“I want to see Cambridgeshire & Peterborough become one of the best and safest places to get about by ‘person-power’, whether on foot or by pushing or pedalling. Local plans are forging ahead and we’ve just appointed an officer to lead our active travel work. We’ll also set up an Active Travel Scrutiny Group that will select an Advocate to bring fresh impetus and a real human face to the message that we must walk and wheel more, for our health and for our environment.”
“Points win prizes, and this high rating gives us the competitive edge to pitch for more resources and it’s terrific encouragement to excel in making active travel the go-to option for short journeys.”
The ratings are an objective assessment of each authority’s ability to increase active travel and ensure public money is targeted effectively to deliver maximum benefit. The ratings also introduce an element of competition to inspire ambitious planning, allow performance to be tracked over time, and enable the right type of resources to be targeted so best value for money is achieved.
Local authorities’ ratings were validated against internal evidence held by the Department for Transport, including 13 metrics, performance history, and other data. Local transport authorities were asked to assess their capability, with supporting evidence, in three areas: local leadership, plans and delivery record.
Ratings guided the initial allocation of Active Travel Fund 4 and Capability and Ambition Funding – the better the ranking, the better the chance of getting extra resource. However, effectiveness, quality and deliverability will be the primary factors in deciding final allocations.
The next assessment will take place in summer 2023