The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has appointed Will Norman, Nike’s current global partnerships director, as the city’s first full-time cycling commissioner. Norman, who takes up the post in February, will work with Transport for London (TfL) to invest £770m on new cycling infrastructure and pedestrian schemes across the capital.
The walking and cycling commissioner role replaces that of cycling commissioner, becoming a full-time position with a salary of £98,000 a year.
Sadiq Khan, said:
“I’m determined to make walking and cycling safer and easier for all Londoners, which is why I’m providing more investment than ever before, and appointing a commissioner to focus full-time on this vital area of work.
“Will Norman brings to this new role an impressive track record in delivering major international projects to get more people active. As the first ever full-time commissioner, he will be able to make a substantial difference getting Londoners of all ages and backgrounds walking and cycling more – improving our city for everyone.”
In his current position at Nike, Norman specialises in increasing levels of physical activity and participation in sports around the world, working with a range of international organisations.
Before joining the firm in 2013, he set up a social research consultancy and was also director of research at The Young Foundation.
Since taking office, Khan has been keen to better shape the city for pedestrians and Norman was keen to emphasise that aspect of his role.
“I’ve been working for the last five years advocating the benefits of exercise and physical activity to people’s lives around the world. Cycling and walking can play a transformational role in improving our health and happiness, and building better communities for everyone. I am hugely excited to have the opportunity to champion cycling and walking in my home town.
“London has so much potential to be a more active city and I’m looking forward to applying my knowledge and experience to open up cycling to everyone in our city, and give walking the focus it truly deserves. Too often the importance of walking has been underplayed – I’m determined to put it higher on the agenda.”
The role was previously part of the Greater London Authority with the Cycling Champion part of the previous Mayor's team. In contrast, Norman will be employed by TfL.
While he will work closely with the Mayor’s office and with the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, some might view this structure as potentially creating a conflict of interest.
Norman’s predecessor, Andrew Gilligan, has described the situation as ‘not ideal,’ saying it makes it harder for TfL to be held to account.