A cross-departmental Government body focused on active travel would be welcomed, says CIWEM. Good for the environment, the economy and our wellbeing, an Office for Active Travel that supports cycling and walking would benefit us all.

In its policy position statement, ‘Active Transport,’ published last week, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) called on Government to “sponsor the development of an active transport knowledge repository, advisory and professional development centre.” News has emerged that Ministers are to heed this call, respond to the weight of opinion of other groups, and commit to establish an ‘Office for Active Travel.’

CIWEM welcomes the discussions surrounding a Government Office for Active Travel. As the largest chartered professional body and charity for an integrated approach to the environment and the public realm, CIWEM is keen to see our streets and shared outdoor spaces as places that suit all forms of transport for all. The Institution wants to see Britain’s towns, cityscapes, and their essential transport networks contributing to the well-being and health of all users, while improving the surrounding environment.

Responding to the news, CIWEM Executive Director, Nick Reeves OBE, said: “I am delighted that the Government is listening to CIWEM’s advice and may establish an Office for Active Travel. The Institution will work with Ministers to establish the Office and to help it deliver the vital health, environmental and economic benefits it will bring. With urban dwelling on the rise, now is the time to transform town and city living by placing active transport at the heart of planning strategies for change.”

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) is an independent professional body and a registered charity, advancing the science and practice of water and environmental management for a clean, green and sustainable world.

CIWEM’s policy position statement, Active Transport, can be found online at

The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group published its report, Get Britain Cycling, on 24 April 2013, available online at:

BikeBiz broke news of a new Office for Active Travel on 26 April: Gov’t to create Office for Active Travel to get Brits out of cars

Peter Treadgold, CIWEM Honorary Vice President, has initiated CIWEM's work in active transport; drawing on his experience in the promotion and delivery of cycling and walking programmes in London, and nationally for the Olympic Games.

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