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World and Olympic champ turned cycling campaigner will be formally introduced in role today

Chris Boardman, the former world and Olympic champion turned cycling campaigner, has been named Greater Manchester’s first ever cycling and walking commissioner.

The 48-year-old, who is policy advisor at British Cycling, will be formally introduced in his new role by Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham at an event at Exchange Street this afternoon.

The Labour politician, who was elected mayor in May, announced Boardman’s appointment via the Manchester Evening News this evening.

The event marks the launch of the GM Moving plan, an initiative of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, and Sport England.

Boardman, who comes from the Wirral on Merseyside, has been an ardent campaigner for cycling in recent years.

In his new role, according to a press release, he will “work across Greater Manchester’s public, private and voluntary institutions to improve safety and conditions for cycling.

“He will also publicly represent cycling, walking and increasing activity levels in Greater Manchester to raise

He said: “My first priority will be to pull together all the people who need to be involved in making cycling and walking viable, attractive and important part of the transport network in Greater Manchester.

“Cycling isn’t currently a big part of how people get around in the region but surveys have showed there is real desire to ride more, if we create an attractive, safe environment.

“There’s a passion from all branches of local government and health to make it happen too but we’re not going to enforce change – we will take people along with us.

“With my background in sport, I’m a big fan of setting targets, being measured and being held accountable for results,” he added.

“I’m going to spend several weeks talking to people to understand the landscape for cycling in Greater Manchester before setting a number of goals we want to achieve and timescales – and you can rest assured that they’ll be ambitious,” Boardman concluded.

Burnham, who was Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in Gordon Brown’s government before taking on a similar role at the Department of Health, said: “I am a big believer in physical activity because it has a positive impact on both physical and mental health.

“Going from inactivity to activity is often one of the easiest and most positive lifestyle changes people can make.

“Having taken that step, people are then more likely to make other changes – be that in smoking, drinking or diet.

“We need to encourage the people in our city region to move more, to cycle and walk and maximise the contribution to being a healthy society.

“I want Greater Manchester to be the sport and physical activity capital of the world,” he added.

After the publication of All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s Get Britain Cycling report in 2013, which called for the government to appoint a cycling champion, many people saw Boardman as an ideal candidate for such a role, which was never created.

Many campaigners will see the fact that Greater Manchester has persuaded him to take on the role as a coup for the region.

Earlier this month, Boardman said that the justice system was failing cyclists and their families, a year on from his mother Carol being killed while riding her bike in North Wales. The van driver involved has not been charged with any offence.

> On anniversary of his mother’s death, Chris Boardman says justice system is failing cyclists and their families

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

33 comments

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emishi55 [156 posts] 1 month ago
14 likes

Finally someone does the right thing. Excellent news.

 

Meanwhile London stagnates under the weighty but hollow words of Sadiq's fabulous vision for London transportation - a whole quarter of a century away!! - and echoed neatly in mealy-mouthed Gove's more general government inaction on air quality: Non-carcinogenic air anyone?

Sorry you too will have to wait til 2040.

Thanks for that guys.

 

So...how are house prices in Manchester just now?

 

 

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jasecd [471 posts] 1 month ago
15 likes

CB is a genuine voice of reason and a proper advocate of cycling - can we not extend his role to the rest of the country as well?

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rct [64 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes

Whilst London has an ex-Nike PR guy with no clue.

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Morgoth985 [58 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

This is great news.  I do get the sense that policy is starting to move in the right direction.  Agonisingly slow, yes, but do I dare to start hoping that we'll start to see some momentum?

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P3t3 [411 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Great news! This is going to be interesting.  

I hope he has the ability to move mountains, I can't think of a better candidate for the role and kicking off by saying he is going to talk to a lot of people and then define what success looks like is a good start!

But part of me thinks that it will only be a couple of years before Boardman gets so frustrated by politics/politicians that he ends up resigning.  I hope not.  

 

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burtthebike [1037 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes
jasecd wrote:

CB is a genuine voice of reason and a proper advocate of cycling - can we not extend his role to the rest of the country as well?

Absolutely!  Now, please.  Knowing how much most local authorities hate cycling and love driving, he's going to have his work cut out just in Manchester.  The rest of the country as well would be beyond superman.

Still, my local authority had a cycling champion, a councillor who didn't ride a bike, weighed 25 stone, drove 40k miles a year in his 4x4 and never attended a cycle forum.  He did so much for cycling, and I still miss him.  Anytime you're near South Gloucestershire Chris, I'll introduce you to him.  I'm sure you'll learn a lot.

For all those in doubt, that was sarcasm, and SGlos has huge road building plans and cycling is in all their policies and strategies but nothing happens on the ground, or if it does, they just make it worse.

 

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Username [215 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

No better man.

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arfa [849 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I really hope Boardman is given the power to change Manchester into a first class city to cycle in and i'd be pretty confident that if he isn't, he'll step aside pretty quickly.
Fingers crossed as real leadership is required as it is pretty obvious in London, no progress other than platitudes will be achieved under Khan and his PR man.

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congokid [319 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

Lucky, lucky Manchester...

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Arno du Galibier [78 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
emishi55 wrote:

So...how are house prices in Manchester just now?

 

They're awesome. Come up!

Plus from most places,  in 15 min, you're out in the lanes....

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zanf [950 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes
rct wrote:

Whilst London has an ex-Nike PR guy with no clue.

Indistinguishable from a bag of wet shit.

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Argos74 [441 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Coup for Manchester is possibly a bit of an understatement. Wow. F*** yes. I'd be happier if he were Prime Minister, or Galactic Overlord, or something. But this is a good start.

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HarrogateSpa [480 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Boardman is a great appointment. I wish him the best of luck, and I think he'll do a great job.

As I see it, there are a couple of risks. First, he is already a very busy person, with his bikes and his TV work. Will he struggle to give it enough time? I expect he wouldn't have taken it on if he didn't believe he had the time.

Second, there are bound to be disagreements, setbacks, and compromises, and it'll be interesting to see how he deals with them. I hope he remains as popular and respected as he is now.

(Added from the comments under the other Chris Boardman article on road.cc - because for some reason there are two separate pages with the same story. It would be a tragedy if some readers were missing out on my wise thoughts ;-))

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WashoutWheeler [60 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
zanf wrote:
rct wrote:

Whilst London has an ex-Nike PR guy with no clue.

Indistinguishable from a bag of wet shit.

 

Khan and his support base are not remotely interested in cycling or walking,  but they are thoroughly obsessed with making sure women are covered, not acknowledged and certainly not heard.

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KendalRed [84 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

Is this a scouse conspiracy to wreck Manchester!!??

Only kidding. Seriously, great appointment by Burnham, I think with Boardman on board (sorry) we could see some real change in Cottonopolis.

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Edgeley [472 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
KendalRed wrote:

Is this a scouse conspiracy to wreck Manchester!!??

Only kidding. Seriously, great appointment by Burnham, I think with Boardman on board (sorry) we could see some real change in Cottonopolis.

 

He isn't a scouser.  He is from Cheshire.   We have the same confusion on our side of Cheshire, where some people mistakenly think that Stockport is in Manchester.  Which for the purposes of benefitting from this appointment we can put up with.  (but only for cycling, obvs).

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psling [255 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

 

psling [243 posts] 5 hours ago
2 likes 
HarrogateSpa wrote:

Boardman is a great appointment. I wish him the best of luck, and I think he'll do a great job.

As I see it, there are a couple of risks. First, he is already a very busy person, with his bikes and his TV work. Will he struggle to give it enough time? I expect he wouldn't have taken it on if he didn't believe he had the time.

 

Part of me agrees with this. I would rather see Boardman as a National Ambassador rather than potentially becoming isolated within the politics of one city. Hopefully this won't be the case and he will still be recognised for his viewpoints within the larger community. I Wish him well though.

 

p.s. Can we lose the other thread please!?!

Also added from 'the other thread' because, like HarrogateSpa, I don't want you to miss out on wise thoughts! 

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zanf [950 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
WashoutWheeler wrote:
zanf wrote:
rct wrote:

Whilst London has an ex-Nike PR guy with no clue.

Indistinguishable from a bag of wet shit.

Khan and his support base are not remotely interested in cycling or walking,  but they are thoroughly obsessed with making sure women are covered, not acknowledged and certainly not heard.

Not quite sure what you're getting at here? Is this is some kind of islamophobic dig at Khan?

 

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mike the bike [939 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

[/quote] Not quite sure what you're getting at here? Is this is some kind of islamophobic dig at Khan? [/quote]

Phobia ..... an irrational or extreme fear of something.

In this world of hyperbole is it not possible to simply dislike something without cranking it up to eleven?

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HalfWheeler [640 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes
WashoutWheeler wrote:

 

Khan and his support base are not remotely interested in cycling or walking,  but they are thoroughly obsessed with making sure women are covered, not acknowledged and certainly not heard.

Hey man, you've stumbled on a cycling website by mistake. These forums might be what you're looking for;

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=far+right+nationalist+web+forums&oq=fa...

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JonD [473 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
mike the bike wrote:

 Not quite sure what you're getting at here? Is this is some kind of islamophobic dig at Khan? [/quote]

Phobia ..... an irrational or extreme fear of something.

In this world of hyperbole is it not possible to simply dislike something without cranking it up to eleven?

[/quote]

Perhaps you ought to revisit the phrase he was referring to, and think about where the 'cranking it up' really lies. It was a fucking stupid statement in the first place, on various levels. Which bit of that don't you get ?

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madcarew [434 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
mike the bike wrote:

 Not quite sure what you're getting at here? Is this is some kind of islamophobic dig at Khan? [/quote]

Phobia ..... an irrational or extreme fear of something.

In this world of hyperbole is it not possible to simply dislike something without cranking it up to eleven?

[/quote]

The important wourd you missed is OR

It doesn't have to be an extreme fear, just an irrational fear. The comment is redolent of a dislike of islam, with a factually incorrect statement to back up the implied dislike (irrationalism). We tend to dislike what we fear, or in our most basic tribalism find a threat in that which is different to us. So, the statement does imply an irrational fear, hence an islamophobic statement. It wasn't implied that the maker of the statement was racist or islamophobic, just that the statement was. Also, you might wish to look at something other than.... where was your definition from? And phobia wasn't mentioned, phobic was...

Cambridge dictionary : Phobic - having a strong dislike of something

Merriam Webster: Phobic - related to, affected with or constituting a phobia

Collins: A phobic feeling or reaction results from or is related to a strong, irrational fear or hatred of something.

The question was fair. "Was it an islamophobic dig at Khan?"

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iandon [16 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Chris has a very good analytical mind.  His observations and recommendations will hopfully be noted an acted upon.

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Dropped [115 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
Edgeley wrote:
KendalRed wrote:

Is this a scouse conspiracy to wreck Manchester!!??

Only kidding. Seriously, great appointment by Burnham, I think with Boardman on board (sorry) we could see some real change in Cottonopolis.

 

He isn't a scouser.  He is from Cheshire.   We have the same confusion on our side of Cheshire, where some people mistakenly think that Stockport is in Manchester.  Which for the purposes of benefitting from this appointment we can put up with.  (but only for cycling, obvs).

He isn't from Cheshire - Wirral is in Merseyside (since 1974) and is just over the Mersey from Liverpool - 'Mersey Cross the River' and all that. Don't pander to the Wirral snobs!

Avatar
Dropped [115 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes
WashoutWheeler wrote:
zanf wrote:
rct wrote:

Whilst London has an ex-Nike PR guy with no clue.

Indistinguishable from a bag of wet shit.

 

Khan and his support base are not remotely interested in cycling or walking,  but they are thoroughly obsessed with making sure women are covered, not acknowledged and certainly not heard.

Evidence? Go on even a little bit, dick head.

Avatar
davel [1608 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Dropped wrote:
Edgeley wrote:
KendalRed wrote:

Is this a scouse conspiracy to wreck Manchester!!??

Only kidding. Seriously, great appointment by Burnham, I think with Boardman on board (sorry) we could see some real change in Cottonopolis.

 

He isn't a scouser.  He is from Cheshire.   We have the same confusion on our side of Cheshire, where some people mistakenly think that Stockport is in Manchester.  Which for the purposes of benefitting from this appointment we can put up with.  (but only for cycling, obvs).

He isn't from Cheshire - Wirral is in Merseyside (since 1974) and is just over the Mersey from Liverpool - 'Mersey Cross the River' and all that. Don't pander to the Wirral snobs!

Some people don't like them there newfangled (43 year-old) counties. Especially if it means they don't live in Cheshire anymore, apparently.

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Jack Osbourne snr [680 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

FFS.

 

This one will hit 12 before midnight. Someone lock this thread before it gets silly.

 

I'll now sit back and wait to be pilloried for advocating a restriction on free speech.

 

smiley

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davel [1608 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

You know who else didn't like free speech?!?!

You're welcome  1

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Jack Osbourne snr [680 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
davel wrote:

You know who else didn't like free speech?!?! You're welcome  1

 

Ummmm.... I give up. You'll need to remind me.

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davel [1608 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes

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