The Department for Transport (DfT) is hiring (opens in new tab) a Director of Inspections for Active Travel England (ATE).
The successful candidate will be publishing annual reports on highway authorities, "grading them on their performance on active travel and identifying particularly dangerous failings in their highways for pedestrians and cyclists."
The role has been created shortly after the appointment of Chris Boardman as the first commissioner of Active Travel England.
The former Olympian took on the job having been instrumental in transforming active travel in Greater Manchester in his role of transport commissioner there.
ATE will approve and inspect schemes, and help local authorities to implement best practices; speaking to Cycling Weekly, Boardman called the government's strategy a "work of art."
With an advertised salary of £90,000 a year, the Director of Inspections will be responsible for more than cycle lanes alone. Indeed, they will "build and manage a team of up to 40 talented design engineers and inspectors," and work with other DfT programmes as well as Other Government Departments to "ensure that standards in cycling and walking infrastructure are embedded into transport funding pots."
Key responsibilities include building "capability in local authorities and the supply chain to enable them to design and deliver high quality active travel infrastructure" and "highlighting examples of good and poor practice and engaging with local authorities to raise standards."
As well as "strong leadership skills", the new Director of Inspections will need "a thorough understanding of designing for active travel, with a track record of successfully changing the status quo for walking and cycling in highways schemes."
The goal of ATE is to further the "cycling and walking revolution”, launched by Boris Johnson in 2020. An extra 5.5 million will be invested, including a £300,000 top-up to E-cargo bike schemes, £3 million to improve cycling infrastructure around train stations, and £2.2 million to explore ‘active travel on prescription’ schemes.
Statistics from the Department for Transport show that while 45.7% more people were cycling in 2020 than 2019, the highest level since the 1960s, in 2019 people were using their cars for over 278 billion miles.
Boardman said this was "not sustainable", adding "people aren't going to do it if they don't have safe space. It all comes together once you've made the safe space."
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Cycling Weekly's Digital Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.