Dame Sarah Storey

Active Travel Commissioner of the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Dame Sarah Storey, will be joining the Transport for the North (TfN) Annual Conference next week (Monday 20 September) to highlight the importance of active travel as part of a green and inclusive transport network.

Fresh from her incredible success at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, she will be dialling in to the closing plenary alongside Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, TfN Chief Executive Martin Tugwell, and TfN Acting Chair and Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council Cllr Louise Gittins.

The Annual Conference, in partnership with the Northern Agenda, takes place in Leeds on Monday 20 September from 10.30am to 4pm. All sessions will be streamed live online – find out more and watch live at: Transport for the North Conference 2020 | Watch all the sessions in full – Transport for the North

Dame Sarah, who is back at work delivering on her Active Travel Implementation Plan, will use the opportunity to talk to the region’s political and business leaders, industry representatives and members of the public, about the need to embed cycling and walking infrastructure within transport plans and enable more people to have the choice to make their short journeys on foot or by bicycle.

She will reflect on the progress of her work within South Yorkshire, including some of the key components of her strategy that are ensuring the region is fully accessible to everyone. She’ll also explain why it is so important to see the future of transport as being built around walking or cycling journeys, rather than having a focus on easing congestion through building more capacity for private car journeys.

Dame Sarah Storey said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Transport for the North Annual conference to share the work my team and I have been doing to deliver on the active travel elements of Mayor Jarvis’ transport manifesto.

“In South Yorkshire we are on the brink of a revolution in active travel after the pandemic lockdowns. Across the north of England nearly all journeys start with a walk, and we need to extend that beyond those few steps to the car so that walking and cycling become the mode of choice for short trips, and as part of longer public transport trips. We also need to create neighbourhoods where everyone is confident that they are safe enough to walk and cycle to the shops and amenities, as well as focusing on co-creating space for them to enjoy spending time outside and being more active.

“I’m looking forward to an interesting and passionate discussion about the vital role walking and cycling can play in creating a more inclusive and pleasant region. Empowering everyone with the confidence that active travel is for them is one of the vital steps that we all have a role in, as we strive to achieve a place where we have fewer vehicles driven less often.”

Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive at Transport for the North, said: “We’re so happy that Dame Sarah is able to join our annual conference. She is such an inspiration to us and clearly incredibly passionate about cycling and walking, and we’re keen to embrace that energy and determination as we set out our future plans for transport in our region.

“Walking and cycling are crucial parts of any transport system – whether we’re stepping out on the mile to the train station or enjoying a leisurely long ride of a Sunday morning – and have real potential to boost sustainability and accessibility which we must embrace.

“The conference will bring together our region’s political and business leaders too, as well as industry experts, and promises to be an interesting and informative day which were sure will help us all drive forward with our shared goals to build back better and greener, support economic growth, and, most importantly, help our people and businesses realise their ambitions.”