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.
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.