Agenda item

Agenda item

Active Travel

Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods)


This report provides an overview of the activities undertaken to promote active travel and connectivity across the city.



The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) that provided an overview of the activities undertaken to promote active travel and connectivity across the city.


The main points and themes within the report included: -


·         Activities undertaken with both schools and neighbourhoods; 

·         Physical infrastructure to support active travel and future plans;

·         How active travel linked into the climate change emergency to reduce carbon and improve clean air;

·         An update on Government Funding for active travel and what other avenues were being accessed;

·         Options for further pop up cycle lanes and other measures in the city; and

·         How the Council measured the objectives of Active travel.


The Chair invited the Neighbourhood Officer for Hulme to address the Committee on the Junior PCSO scheme that had been established in the ward. The Officer described the background to the scheme, the work and engagement undertaken with local schools, children and their parents. She described the benefits and positive outcomes of the scheme and how this contributed to the wider climate change ambitions of the Council.


Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -


·         Noting the inspiring and positive contribution that the Junior PCSO scheme had delivered and recommending that this good practice and learning should be shared across all wards;

·         Noting that the positive activities and initiatives with schools and local communities seemed to be concentrated in certain areas and there was a distinct lack of these delivered in the north of the city and in Wythenshawe;

·         Investment in infrastructure to support active travel and improve connectivity was required in North Manchester; and

·         An update was sought on the government funding to support active travel.


The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport informed the Committee that all provisions, such as Play Streets were advertised and available across all areas of the city and not restricted to certain areas. She stated that schools were contacted and offered support to deliver local schemes however it was the decision of the individual schools to take up this offer. She noted that she recognised the significant challenge schools had faced this year as a result of COVID19 however the options and support of local Neighbourhood Teams still remained. The Director of Education confirmed that information was regularly shared with schools and this would be raised again via Virtual Head Teacher Meetings, with consideration given to a targeted approach.


The Executive Member for Neighbourhoods stated that all Ward Plans should include Climate Change and the Head of Neighbourhoods confirmed that the local team did engage with schools in the Wythenshawe area and this work and dialogue with schools would continue.


A Member of the Committee commented on the work undertaken by local Councillors and schools in North Manchester and she offered to share this experience and lessons learnt with other Neighbourhood Teams across the city. The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport welcomed this and commented upon the important roles local Members had in supporting and promoting active travel initiatives.


The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport addressed the issue of government funding by stating that despite repeated promises and public statements regarding the importance of active travel the government had failed to respond to the funding bids submitted. She described this as a failure of government and challenged the Chancellor to address this. She described the current situation as very frustrating as Manchester had many initiatives and schemes planned and were keen to progress this important area of work as quickly as possible.


The Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport stated that conversations continued with both Transport for Greater Manchester and the Walking and Cycling Commissioner to explore all funding options.


The Committee then heard from Councillor Shilton Godwin, Lead Member for Active Travel who stated that the need for active travel was very important particularly at this time, commenting that this activity could improve people’s resilience to the pandemic and significantly contribute to clean air. She supported the comments of the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport and repeated the call on government to adequately fund this important area of work and help Manchester realise its climate change ambitions. 




The Committee recommend that the Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport promote with all schools the Junior PCSO School Scheme, working collaboratively with local Neighbourhood Teams, Education and the Highways Service.


[Councillor Hughes declared a personal and non-prejudicial interest as he is employed as a bus driver in Manchester.]


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