The aim is to see more than 20 per cent of people walking and cycling everyday journeys by 2021

The Isle of Man Government has launched the start of a new £3.8 million Active Travel programme.

The strategy aims to see more than 20 per cent of people walking and cycling everyday journeys by 2021.

Sustrans has been recruited to work on the four-year programme, following the approval by the Isle of Man Parliament (Tynwald) of the Island’s first Active Travel Strategy in July.

The charity will work with the Isle of Man Government to deliver changes such as improved signage, high-quality cycle routes and traffic calming.

This includes officers who will work directly with local businesses, schools and communities to encourage more people to travel by foot or bike.

Infrastructure minister Ray Harmer said: "Providing ways in which people can choose to walk or cycle is at the centre of what we are trying to achieve through Active Travel, and I’m confident Sustrans will help us deliver the aims of the strategy.

"They will be getting to work immediately by committing two staff members in the Island, and looking at the ways in which schools and businesses can play their part in the process right from the start."

Rosslyn Colderley, Sustrans’ director in the North, said: "Increasing everyday levels of active travel significantly benefits health and wellbeing, can boost local economies and create more pleasant local environments to live in and travel through.

"We know from our research that when better walking and cycling routes are provided, alongside community engagement programmes, uptake in cycling and walking increases dramatically.

"This is why we’re delighted that the Isle of Man Government is investing in more dedicated cycling and walking routes which help to create low traffic neighbourhoods - where riding a bike or walking become the easiest way of travelling for short journeys."

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