Mayor unveils walking and cycling commissioner to bridge the pedestrian vs cycle superhighway divide

Rebecca Smith
Norman is global partnerships director at Nike
Norman is global partnerships director at Nike (Source: Greater London Authority)

A Nike director has been chosen by mayor Sadiq Khan as the capital's very first walking and cycling commissioner.

Will Norman, currently global partnerships director at Nike, will be tasked with getting London stretching its legs and making non-polluting travel easier. He'll also be working on the development of the capital's cycle superhighways and speaking to councils and local groups on how best to implement them.

It comes after the announcement that one of the more controversial superhighways will go-ahead next year. The Swiss Cottage-West End route will involve the closure of half of Regent's Park's gates during the day.

For his efforts, City A.M. understands Norman will be pedalling away with a salary of £98,000. The role will be a full-time one, as opposed to part-time like the previous position of cycling commissioner.

Read more: Construction on controversial cycle superhighway route will start next year

He will be accelerating the mayor's "healthy streets programme" and making use of the hefty £770m budget Sadiq Khan unveiled going towards cycling infrastructure and initiatives over the next five years.

Norman said he was "hugely excited to have the opportunity to champion cycling and walking" in his hometown.

I’ve been working for the last five years advocating the benefits of exercise and physical activity to people’s lives around the world.

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.

Read more: Mapped: How long it takes to walk between Tube stations

At Nike, Norman has developed a programme to make physical activity a global policy priority, including work with the UN, the European Parliament, G8, World Health Organisation and International Olympic Committee.

The mayor said Norman brought "an impressive track record in delivering major international projects to get more people active" and as the first full-time commissioner in the role will be able "to make a substantial difference getting Londoners of all ages and backgrounds walking and cycling more".

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