Liverpool appoints first cycling champion

Following the example of neighbouring Manchester, Liverpool City Council has appointed actor, TV presenter and environmentalist Simon O’Brien to be its first cycling champion.

Having swapped the car for his beloved bike 35 years ago, O’Brien is to be tasked with revolutionising the city’s cycling offer by linking up Liverpool’s major green spaces with a series of new routes. He has recently led a major review into Liverpool’s parks and cycled more than 1,500 miles to explore potential routes.

Liverpool City Council has made the appointment as it begins a new phase of delivering a £500 million upgrade to the city’s highways network and is about to pilot green corridors through the URBAN GreenUP project – a key recommendation of the Green and Open Spaces review.

The council recently unveiled its 100th bike station and has a growing network of community cycling ambassadors for Simon to work with.

O’Brien said: “Liverpool is a cycling heaven waiting to happen. Now with the full support of the Council, it’s time to make the vision a reality.”

Mayor Joe Anderson, said: “Cities like Liverpool need to rethink how people use transport and I’m delighted Simon has accepted our invitation to become Liverpool’s first cycling champion. He’ll be a great asset because has an unbelievable passion for cycling and a huge love for Liverpool – as well as a vast wealth of knowledge and experience.

“He’s already mapped out the city by bike when he carried out the Green and Open Spaces Review and I’m looking forward to hearing his ideas on how we can transform how people use our beautiful parks by giving cyclists a series of green corridors to explore and enjoy. I want to see a real step change in Liverpool’s cycling offer that will benefit people for generations to come and leaves a legacy of a healthier and cleaner environment for our grandchildren to enjoy.”

Chris Boardman was appointed in the summer of 2017 as Greater Manchester’s first Cycling and Walking Commissioner.

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