Council leader appoints new ‘cycling and walking champion’

Suzie Akers Smith

Cheshire East Council's leader has appointed a new 'cycling and walking champion' – to help spearhead moves to get more people more active.

Councillor Sam Corcoran announced at today's meeting of cabinet that independent Councillor Suzie Akers Smith has been appointed to the post.

The 'cycling champion' will work to promote cycling for all age groups across the borough. She will also work with cabinet and senior officers to help focus council policies to put cycling at the heart of the planning and design of the borough's streets, communities and green spaces.

Cllr Corcoran said: "I am passionate about the well-recognised benefits of cycling and walking for our environment, communities, local economy and our health and wellbeing – and I know that Cllr Suzie Akers Smith is equally passionate on this subject.

"This council is committed to enhancing and delivering a cycling strategy to deliver a high-quality and safe cycle network so that people of all abilities will be able to travel by bike around the borough. I know that Suzie will be a great champion of this cause."

Cllr Akers Smith said: "I am proud to be appointed the council's cycling and walking champion and am passionate about the importance of getting more people to travel by bike on safe cycle networks and walk more for journeys under a mile.

"I am really looking forward to working with colleagues across the political spectrum to work towards delivering a truly cycle-friendly network of routes to connect people and places across the borough. This cycling network will be crucial to connect more people to jobs, skills, schools, key services and leisure opportunities across Cheshire East."

Cllr Corcoran added: "Cycling has many benefits and is certainly a good investment – as the UK government estimates that for every £1 invested in cycling, £5.50 is returned in social benefit.

"The research is very clear: by cycling and walking regularly, our residents and visitors will be healthier, happier and wealthier – and it's great for businesses, the visitor economy and the environment too."

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Cheshire East Council
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

David Smith
Tuesday 11th June 2019 at 9:56 pm
First tasks:
1. Convert ALL advisory cycle lanes into mandatory lanes and so make it illrgal for cars to park in them.
2. Clean all roads within 3 feet of the roadside of debris that is a hazzard to cyclists.
3. Ensure there are no potholes and defective drains that need repairing in the cyclist's line of travel. Ensure all drains are in fact draining so that no large floods appear when it rains.
4. In the long term make safe cycle routes around the towns in our borough with parking facilities for bikes.

Anyone else any other suggestions?
Alan Brough
Wednesday 12th June 2019 at 10:21 am
@ David Smith,

The first job for Cllr. Akers-Smith should be to travel to Holland to look at what a proper integrated transport system looks like.

She’ll see a network of safe, separated cycle lanes through and around most towns and villages and a very high proportion of local commuting done by bike - in particular the school commute.

Whilst she’s there she’ll notice the general good health of the people and the very low incidence of obesity.

This backs-up Cllr. Corcorans assertion that every £1 invested brings a £5.50 return.

However, the outlay is enormous and the pay back period is long; minimum 10 years, and politicians can generally only see no more than five years ahead. Therein lies the problem.
Jon Williams
Thursday 13th June 2019 at 10:50 am
One thing that is needed urgent is a safe cycling and walking route from Alderley Edge to Wilmslow High School

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