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Sporting world champion to lead on city region's travel plans

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Dame Sarah Storey, Britain’s most successful female Paralympian, has been named Sheffield City Region CA’s active travel commissioner by mayor Dan Jarvis. 

The World Champion who has won 14 Paralympic golds in swimming and cycling is now set to take on a new challenge, leading the active travel agenda in the Sheffield City Region.

Dame Sarah, who was revealed as the new commissioner at an event held at Sheffield Hallam University today, will champion active travel and work alongside Mr Jarvis to get more people travelling on foot, by bike or on public transport.

It follows Greater Manchester CA’s appointment of Chris Boardman, who won gold at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, as Greater Manchester’s first cycling and walking commissioner in 2017. Last June, Greater Manchester unveiled a £28m ‘Beeline’ cycling network.

Dame Sarah hinted that she would like to do the same for Sheffield, and will be working closely with Mr Jarvis to make his transport vision a reality. 

 “As someone who’s passionate about active travel, and through my policy work with British Cycling, I’ve been so interested in what Chris Boardman is doing with Andy Burnham over the Pennines,” she said. “It’s brilliant to have the opportunity to work closely with Mayor Jarvis and his team to do something similar here.”

Dame Sarah, who trained at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, has five swimming gold medals and nine cycling golds at the Paralympics  and has also won medals at UCI Track Cycling World Cup meetings with the able-bodied squad.

As well as working with councils, Dame Sarah will work with the Passenger Transport Executive, community groups, national government and public health professionals. She will lead the active travel agenda across the City Region, including overseeing schemes in Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield that received funding from the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund earlier this month.

Mr Jarvis described Dame Sarah as an ”exceptional, inspirational and passionate” individual who was joining Sheffield City Region at an ”exciting time”.

“By prioritising active travel, we can improve people’s health, cut carbon emissions and reduce congestion,” he said. 


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