The Isle of Man Government has launched a consultation on Active Travel to support its objective to encourage more people to be physically active as part of their daily routine.
Led by the Department of Infrastructure, work is taking place to promote walking and cycling for short trips.
According to the 2011 Isle of Man Census, 14.2% of people walked or cycled to work. The Active Travel initiative aims to increase this to 20% by 2020, which would equate to almost 2,500 more people commuting on foot or by bike.
The consultation document sets out proposals for creating a culture and environment where walking and cycling are natural choices for everyday journeys of necessity.
The public, employers, local authorities and interest groups are being invited to submit their views and respond to a series of questions. This feedback will help to inform an action plan aimed at delivering a range of social, economic and health benefits.
The publication of an Active Travel Strategy is a key objective in the Programme for Government and work is taking place across Departments to take forward the initiative.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said:
‘We want to see more people walking and cycling more often. The benefits of Active Travel are considerable, particularly in terms of improving people’s physical and mental health. There are advantages for communities too, with safer and more pleasant streets, reduced traffic congestion, lower carbon emissions and better air quality.’
‘Many journeys we make are relatively short in terms of time and distance, so there is great potential for walking and cycling to be everyday choices to get around. Active travel is a simple, low-cost and effective way for most people to include physical activity in their daily lives. As well as helping people to lead happier and healthier lives, this initiative could have longer-term economic benefits.
‘I would encourage people to take part in the consultation exercise and provide feedback to help shape our vision for Active Travel.’
Information is available on the Government consultation hub and responses can be emailed to SPP.DOI@gov.im or sent to Strategy, Policy and Performance Division, Department of Infrastructure, Sea Terminal, Douglas, IM1 2RF.
Comments must be received by 4pm on Monday 25 September.