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Cycling tsar for Cambridgeshire to be appointed as mayor Dr Nik Johnson eyes travel funding

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An independent cycling tsar for Cambridgeshire will be appointed by the mayor, who said he is also hopeful of securing funding withheld by the government for active travel schemes in the county.

Dr Nik Johnson, the Labour mayor for the Combined Authority, responded after transport minister Chris Heaton-Harris told the county that money from the Capability Fund to aid cycling and walking improvements was being held back from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough because of “prematurely removed active travel schemes”.

Dr Nik Johnson, the mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. Picture: Keith Heppell
Dr Nik Johnson, the mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. Picture: Keith Heppell

Authorities elsewhere received between £660,000 and £2.88million in the latest round of funding - but Mr Heaton-Harris said those that had “removed, or are proposing to remove, cycles schemes installed under the fund” or intending to “water them down” would miss out until there were fresh assurances. The letter came after the decision to allow traffic back on to Mill Road bridge.

Dr Johnson said he had written to the minister to declare his support for active travel schemes and planned to meet with him and the head of behaviour change within the cycling and walking team at the Department for Transport.

The mayor said he was “encouraged to hear that contact will be made within the next two weeks to confirm that all assurances have been met by the Combined Authority and our indicative funding allocation can be confirmed”.

“My 3Cs approach of compassion, co-operation and community are the foundation of everything the Combined Authority will develop and deliver.

“This approach is driven by my passion as a practising children’s doctor with public health improvements key to my vision and ambition for transport, housing, skills, education, retail, leisure, and economic growth.

“The active travel funding is fundamental to enable stimulus toward real change and I very much support it.

“I have tasked officers to engage with community groups, cycling groups, district councils, and our highways authorities to establish a mayoral-led active travel forum, where collectively we can identify the areas of need and where schemes will generate the most value across the entire Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region.

“From this group I am seeking nominations for an independent cycling tsar for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to enable us to manage key issues locally.”

Those interested in being involved should contact transport@cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk.

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