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Chris Boardman made walking and cycling commissioner for Greater Manchester

Jack Elton-Walters
28 Jul 2017

Former professional cyclist and advocate for everyday cycling lands new role

Chris Boardman has been revealed as Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner. The appointment was announced by the city's recently elected Mayor, Andy Burnham.

Boardman, whose career counts Olympic medals, World Records and six days in the Tour de France's yellow jersey, has dedicated himself to cycling as transport over the last few years and has worked as a policy advisor for British Cycling.

With a dedicated representative for cyclists in City Hall, London's infrastructure came on rapidly to the benefit of the city and its people, and its hoped the same can be achieved in Greater Manchester.

Andrew Gilligan left the London role after the mayoralty changed hands, and his replacement has so far pushed painted letter Qs and signage as a policy for getting more people on bikes.

With Boardman in situ in Greater Manchester, such poor attempts at cycling infrastructure should be avoided.

Revealing the appointment, Burnham told the Manchester Evening News: 'I will be announcing Greater Manchester’s new cycling and walking commissioner with the aim of building a high-quality, safe, dedicated cycling network across all our ten boroughs, getting more people out of their cars and onto their bikes, making air quality better, improving health and cutting congestion.

'I’m really, really pleased to say to you that that person will be Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman, who I think is a real coup for Greater Manchester.

'He’s coming in to make a serious difference and I want him to make a serious difference.'

If Burnham delivers and supports Boardman in those aims then bicycle users in London may soon be looking to Manchester's Labour mayor as an example of what their own could do with a bit more political will and the right commissioner to deliver the changes needed.