Working in partnership

Providing good active travel opportunities means working closely with organisations and charities with expertise in this area. Their expert knowledge is invaluable to us.

Active Travel England

Active Travel England became the Government’s executive agency to oversee local active travel delivery in 2022.

We'll work with Active Travel England to deliver joined-up national and regional active travel. We'll be sharing designs and ensuring maximum value from active travel investment.

In March 2024, We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Active Travel England to formalise stronger collaborative working between both our organisations.

Olympic legend and Active Travel England ambassador Chris Boardman MBE and our Chief Executive Nick Harris jointly signed the MOU. This represents a mutual pledge to promote the benefits of active travel and a healthier future for all.

In May 2024, we'll host our first director-level meeting with Active Travel England to oversee a programme of active travel collaboration. Themes for discussion include:

  • strategic direction and priorities
  • scheme development
  • engagement

One of the first things both our organisation will be doing is a pilot in the Tyne area, covering A1, A19 and A194 (M). The pilot will investigate how active travel investment across our roads network could enable more walking and cycling for local trips to access to:

  • education
  • employment
  • services


For several years, walking and cycling charity Sustrans have been helping us to:

Tidenham Tunnel and the Wye Valley Greenway

Tidenham Tunnel connects Chepstow and Tintern as part of the Wye Valley Greenway on the border between Wales and England. The tunnel is 1km long and runs 100m below the surface at its deepest point. We're responsible for maintaining the tunnel as part of the Historic Railway Estate.

In 2019, after decades of disuse, Sustrans made a proposal to integrate the tunnel with nearby popular Wye Valley cycling and walking routes. We agreed that the Sustrans plan would be a great way to bring the tunnel back into public use.

The Department for Transport granted permission for us to lease the structures long-term to Sustrans and partners Greenways and Cycleroutes who undertook project delivery and future maintenance.

Local volunteers carried out a lot of the preliminary site work and main contractors completed construction in April 2021. Friends of Wye Valley Greenway helps to maintain the route. We continue to maintain the tunnel on behalf of the Department for Transport.

The tunnel also hosts a colony of bats, which are legally protected. Special low-level downlighting minimises disturbance to the bats. The tunnel is closed for part of the year while bats are roosting.

The entrance to Tidenham Tunnel
The entrance to Tidenham Tunnel
Inside the tunnel - illuminated with bat friendly downlighting
Inside the tunnel - illuminated with bat friendly downlighting

Sustrans have helped us deliver a number of projects through our Designated Funds. These include improvements on the National Cycle Network (NCN Route 16) between London and Stansted Airport. We restored a one mile route between Birchanger village and the airport so the new, safe and scenic route could cross the busy M11.

Sustrans is delivering three other schemes on our behalf:

Rothwell to Temple Newsam, East Leeds near M1 J45

Over 7km of safe and continuous route for walking and cycling between Rothwell and Temple Newsam. Improvements will give people traffic free paths from Rothwell and Wakefield to Leeds City centre, Temple Newsam and Roundhay Park.

Pelsall to Brownhills, Walsall, near A5 and M6 Toll

5km of new traffic free Greenway on the disused South Staffordshire railway line between Pelsall and Brownhills. Together with the existing NCN Greenway, this will give a continuous route connecting the urban centres of Walsall, Pelsall and Brownhills.

Lee Mill to Ivybridge, Devon, A38

NCN Route 2 between Plympton and Ivybridge serves a variety of everyday trips, including journeys to work, school and the shops. Currently, 9 out of 10 commuters travel by car between Ivybridge, Plympton, and Plymouth. Public consultation sessions have taken place, indicating a local desire for improved walking and cycling infrastructure.

Lee Mill Industrial Estate is a large employer. The new scheme would give an opportunity to convert trips from car to foot and bike.

Transport Focus

Transport Focus are our road user watchdog. They are an independent, evidence-led, consumer-focussed organisation.

We work closely with Transport Focus to improve the service we deliver to our customers.

Transport Focus:

  • manages the Strategic Roads User Survey (SRUS) which measures customer satisfaction for our Strategic Road Network (SRN)
  • measures our performance against our primary customer Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Transport Focus give us insight into how we're perforing in terms of active travel.

Over several years Transport Focus has surveyed the experiences of walkers, cyclists and horse-riders at key locations on our SRN.

The findings of the surveys give us valuable information. We use it to continually improve our performance and inform our current and future projects.

Here is an example of the insights Transport Focus gathers.The survey in question was exploring how we could provide better safety measures for cyclists, pedestrians, and equestrians in the East of England