Andrew Gilligan, London’s former Cycling Commissioner, has this afternoon tweeted what he says is the shortlist of the people still in the frame to replace him in the role – but Mayor of London’s Sadiq Khan’s office has told road.cc that the list of names he mentioned is incorrect.
The post has been vacant since Khan replaced Boris Johnson as Mayor in May. Gilligan has repeatedly urged the new mayor, who earlier this week announced plans to spend £17 per person a year over the next five years on cycling in the capital, to appoint a successor.
Career journalist Gilligan, a specialist in London politics, was appointed the city’s first Cycling Commissioner in early 2014 and helped Johnson steer through plans for infrastructure including the city’s first cycle superhighways that were separated from motor traffic.
In his tweet this afternoon, he put forward five names for the position, but City Hall has told road.cc that while an announcement is due shortly, his list is incorrect. It could be the case, of course, that one or more of the people Gilligan mentioned will be on the shortlist, so here they are.
Clyde Loakes – A councillor at the London Borough of Waltham Forest, Loakes led the £30 million Mini Holland scheme and for his efforts was recognised as Cycling Champion of the Year at 2015’s inaugural Cycle Planning Awards.
Phil Jones – Camden’s cabinet member for transport, Jones has overseen schemes such as Royal College Street and the Torrington Place and Tavistock Place cycle lanes, where consultation has just closed on making them permanent.
Feryal Demirci – Cabinet member for neighbourhoods in Hackney, the London borough with the highest levels of cycling, Demirci’s brief includes transport and cycling.
Peter Murray – An architect and chairman of New London Architecture, Murray’s vision for the capital’s future includes prioritising cycling as a way of getting around.
Ann Kenrick – Former chair of the London Cycling Campaign and still a trustee, Kenrick has more than five decades’ experience of cycling, is a veteran campaigner, and has written a book encouraging schools and parents to let children cycle.
In October, Val Shawcross - London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, told road.cc that there had been huge interest in the role, including from national names.
On Twitter this afternoon, Gilligan said: “Some really great names on shortlist for walking/cycling commissioner job. First real sign of concrete commitment (as opposed to words).”
But he added: “Without any disrespect to Murray or Kenrick, it should be one of the councillors. They all have records of delivery, long [experience] in London govt.”
He also put two questions to the mayor. The first was: “Will Sadiq choose one of the three with actual experience of delivering schemes, building coalitions, facing down opponents?”
The second question he asked was, “When are we going to know? Weeks now since interviews.”
Tomorrow sees the publication of Transport for London’s draft business plan for the next five years which, among other things, should reveal how Khan plans to raise cycling spend to 5.5 per cent of the organisation’s budget.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.