Nike executive given London cycling commissioner role

Nike global partnerships director Will Norman will become Mayor of London Sadiq Khan's first walking and cycling commissioner

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced the appointment of the first walking and cycling commissioner: Nike global partnerships director Will Norman.

Norman – who currently cycles every day – will become the capital’s first full-time commissioner tasked with making walking and cycling easier and safer in London to get more people active. The role replaces that of cycling commissioner.

He will work with the mayor, Transport for London (TfL) and the deputy mayor for transport Val Shawcross, and will be involved in the investment of £770 million in cycling in London over the next five years.

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Norman’s current role with global sports company Nike has seen him working with the International Oympic Committee, United Nations, the European Parliament and the World Health Organisation to promote physical activity.

Prior to his appointment at Nike in 2013, Norman ran his own social research consultancy.

“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,” said Khan.

“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.”

Norman said: “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.”

According to the Mayor of London’s office, 152 people applied for the role of walking and cycling commissioner and Norman was appointed after a ‘rigorous and competitive selection process’. The Evening Standard reports that the full-time post has a salary of £98,000.

Matt Winfield, Director for Sustrans in London, said: “I congratulate Will Norman on his selection for the role and the Mayor on advertising and recruiting openly for it.

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“Before the elections we made the importance of a commissioner for both walking and cycling very clear to the candidates, and the need for that person to work closely with London’s boroughs, who own and run the great bulk of the capital’s streets.

“The full-time role is good news for Londoners and means Will can get straight to work when he starts in February.”

London Cycling Campaign CEO Ashok Sinha reacted to the appointment, saying: “We look forward to working with Mr Norman to help the Mayor to meet his promises to triple protected space for cycling, fix the most dangerous junctions, enable every borough to have a major walking and cycling scheme, and make safer, ‘Direct Vision’ lorries the norm on London’s roads.”