Organisations across the country as well in York have welcomed the news of a new Government agency to be based in the city.

Olympic gold medallist and long-time campaigner for safer roads Chris Boardman will head the Active Travel England agency as it gets people to walk and cycle more.

He pledged: "We’ll do more than encourage them, we will enable them to get to shops, schools and workplaces under their own steam, by providing high quality, safe joined up routes . Looking forward to it."

Xavier Bruce, chair of the national charity for making it easier for people to walk and cycle, Sustans, tweeted: "This new org is strong evidence that UK Govt is now treating cycling and waking as serious transport modes, and key to all our futures. Lots to do.

Alison Hill, chair of the national Bikeability Trust which helps people start cycling tweeted: "Wonderful news! The best person for getting everyone in England cycling."

In the city, York Central MP Rachael Maskell tweeted: "As a passionate cyclist and walker, with Active Travel England based in my constituency, I will ensure that it gets all the support it needs as we see the power of cycling and walking transform our communities."

City of York Council's transport supremo and deputy leader Cllr Andy D'Agorne, said: "This is an important endorsement of York's longstanding expertise in sustainable travel, and a welcome development for our city.

"It builds on our expertise as a centre of rail expertise, successful park and ride and growing network of cycle routes, and of balancing our transport infrastructure needs with the challenges of climate change and decarbonising transport.

"For example, we have led the way with introduction of e-scooters and e-bikes, grown the largest electric bus fleet and delivered hyperhubs as a demonstration of our commitment."

York Cycle Campaign (YCC) said: "We’re greatly looking forward to inviting employees to join us for a cycle ride around York and excited about working with them to raise the ambition of York’s active travel network.

"Having Chris Boardman leading the department is also hugely welcomed news as we know he has the motivation and drive to pursue the vision for cities that are inviting to walk and cycle in – who knows we may even see him popping along to a few YCC events!"

The Trails Trust which works to restore and promote footpaths, bridleways and other rights of way, tweeted: Excellent news. We hope Active Travel England will be multi functional - this would benefit everyone whether you active travel by foot, wheel, hoof or paddle, create green networks connecting people to nature and improving biodiversity plus safe off road routes."