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Leicester rated among best councils for leadership in active travel

Lancaster Road

LEICESTER City Council has been rated as one the highest performing local authorities in the first ever Government review of active travel infrastructure and support.

Active Travel England – the government’s executive agency tasked with making walking, wheeling and cycling the preferred choice for everyday trips – has today published its first annual active travel capability ratings for local authorities.

Leicester is one of just five local authorities to achieve a 3 rating, putting it among the top performing councils. All 79 local authorities outside London took part in the process.  

According to Active Travel England’s ratings, Leicester City Council demonstrates ‘Very strong local leadership, comprehensive plans, and a significant network in place with a growing number of people choosing to walk, wheel and cycle.’

Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on transport, clean air and climate emergency, said: “I am incredibly proud that Active Travel England has recognised Leicester’s commitment and proven track record on delivering schemes that encourage cleaner, greener, more affordable and healthier sustainable travel habits and help create a more people-friendly, low carbon city.

“Since its launch in 2011, our Connecting Leicester programme has been instrumental in transforming sustainable, active transport across the city as well as supporting the city economy. Over the last 12 years, we have seen a massive increase – of around 80 per cent – in the number of people cycling in the city. By the end of this year, our Transforming Cities Find programme will have delivered and additional 16km on new, safe cycle tracks.

“This is just one example of the major investment we are making in improved infrastructure and enhanced streets and spaces that are safer and more appealing to anyone walking, wheeling or riding a bike.

“We know that there is still more to do and we are continuing to build on our ambition for Leicester to be a leading city for active and sustainable travel.”

Leicester City Council joins Nottingham City Council, West Midlands Combined Authority, Great Manchester Combined Authority, and West Yorkshire Combined Authority as the highest rated local authorities in Active Travel England’s first active travel capability ratings.

Higher rated authorities are eligible to access more support from the Government’s Active Travel Fund.

Earlier this year, Leicester City Council was awarded almost £400,000 from Active England to support of a range of initiatives to help make it easier for people to cycle and walk around the city.

This includes developing a local plan of cycling and walking infrastructure so that it’s all joined up, contributing to the ongoing development of a city-wide walking and cycling network and a programme of community event to encouraging more people to try walking or cycling, guided cycle rides and the annual Walk Leicester and Ride Leicester festivals.