The news that the Government is to push active travel, getting more people cycling and walking is most welcome.

The new plans will see an initial £2 billion put behind the plans, which will see an Active Travel Commissioner appointed, with powers similar to the Ofsted inspectorate in education.

This crucially will see funding provided or denied in accordance with the degree to which local authority's plans comply with the active travel ethos.

So there will be no funding for the pitiful painted cycle lanes that see a line drawn a couple of feet from the gutter.

In order to get the funding, local authorities will have to create properly segregated cycle lanes that cut the cyclists off from the traffic in a safe zone.

The momentum behind the plans is unprecedented, with pressure for people to get on their bike or walk in order to take pressure off public transport in the present Covid-dominated environment.

There is also pressure to get more active in order to combat obesity.

Obesity levels in the UK have been steadily rising, as people lead more sedentary existences with more and more of life revolving around phones and laptops.

Obesity levels in Redbridge are alarming, so the pressure to get people out walking and cycling is all the greater.

Fewer vehicles means less pollution; more active travel means fitter, healthier human beings - it is a win win.

Some boroughs are further advanced with active travel than others.

In Waltham Forest, there is the mini-Holland scheme, with segregated cycle lanes, cycle hangars on the streets and at stations.

The idea is to force the traffic off the side roads onto the main arteries. Cycling also becomes a means to get to work, with people being able to cycle to stations where they can lock their bikes up securely in the hangars.

Car use has dropped dramatically.

Other, London boroughs have also made great strides, with Camden, Islington and Newham all coming to mind.

In Redbridge, there is a long way to go but the present consultation on Quieter Streets is intended to kick start the move toward active travel here.

There are though some simple improvements that could be easily made to existing infrastructure.

There have been calls from Redbridge cyclists to improve cycle routes in Wanstead Park. Two suggestions are to allow cyclists to use the direct route between Warren Road and Wanstead Park Avenue (the best route for cycling) and for the cycle route between the Exchange land and Aldersbrook Lane adjoining Ilford Hill to be cleared. The first change is in the gift of the Corporation of London. The second route is on Corporation land but under the stewardship of Redbridge Council.

There are other off road options in Wanstead but these should get picked up in the Quieter Streets process.

There is much than needs to be done in Redbridge to bring about the active travel revolution but given the will it is achievable. The lockdown period showed the appetite there is among the population to walk and cycle more, what is needed now is the means to make that desire for safe active travel a reality. The Government seems keen to promote such change, now we need to make it happen on the ground.