CREWE Town Council has named its ‘Cycling and Walking Champion’ for the town.

The authority’s community and environment committee made a recommendation at January’s council meeting to adopt a Cycling/Walking Policy and to nominate a member to steer the policies through to tangible outcomes.

Clr Damian Bailey has been named as the ‘champion’ after recently becoming a convert to cycling after taking his car off the road and turning to a bike to make his daily commute to work.

He said: “I’m really enjoying the change and the exercise, even in the depths of winter it has been a joy. I feel fitter already.

“In terms of my role as ‘Champion’, I want to ensure that policies are put in place to make it easier to walk and cycle so that we can increase journeys on foot or by bike, reduce pollution, improve health and free up space on the road for those journeys that need to be undertaken by the car.

“We want to work with Cheshire East to place walking and cycling at the heart of the community.

“I am calling on Cheshire East to utilise monies from planning gain and to re-allocate some of the vast amount of money spent on roads to enhance the infrastructure supporting walking and cycling in Crewe.

“I’d encourage anyone with ideas as to how we can improve things to contact me via the council’s website.”

Ben Wye of Active Travel Crewe, who helped to initiate the committee’s interest in the promotion of walking and cycling, said: “We welcome the strategy and the Crewe Cycling Champion.

“Crewe residents now have the lowest life expectancy in Cheshire East, largely caused by inactive lifestyles and obesity. We have significant air pollution which is linked to many illnesses, including asthma.

“Driving in Crewe is costly and slow. It can take 40 minutes to cross town in peak periods. The school run alone costs on average £1,714 a year on fuel alone. This money could be spent in the local economy.”