Mayor appoints Walking and Cycling Commissioner

20 December 2016
  • Will Norman will be London’s first full time Walking and Cycling Commissioner
  • As Global Partnerships Director at Nike, Will has worked with UN, the European Parliament, G8, World Health Organisation and International Olympic Committee
  • Mayor Sadiq Khan wants to get Londoners ‘of all ages and backgrounds’ walking and cycling more

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has named London’s first-ever Walking and Cycling Commissioner. Will Norman will work closely with the Mayor in helping deliver his pledge to get more Londoners active by making cycling and walking safer and easier in the capital.


Will Norman is currently Global Partnerships Director at Nike, where he specialises in increasing levels of physical activity and participation in sports around the world, working with a range of international organisations.


As part of the capital’s biggest ever focus on walking and cycling, he will work closely with the Mayor, Deputy Mayor for Transport, and TfL to make healthy, active, non-polluting travel easier in London. 


This will include pushing forward with the Mayor’s Healthy Streets programme to create a safer, more pleasant London for cyclists and pedestrians, and investing a record budget of £770m on infrastructure and initiatives to promote cycling until 2021/2022.


Hailing the appointment, Sadiq Khan today pointed to Will's 'impressive track record in delivering major international projects to get more people active'.


Will, who cycles every day in London, has a strong background of working with private and public partnerships, and a wealth of experience in getting people from a wide range of backgrounds active. Before joining Nike in 2013, Will set up a successful social research consultancy and was also Director of Research at The Young Foundation, where he was responsible for delivering multi-million pound European programmes and established a youth leadership organisation.


At Nike, Will has spearheaded a programme to make physical activity a global policy priority. This has included working with the UN, the European Parliament, G8, World Health Organisation and International Olympic Committee. Among his work has been a partnership with UNESCO and the German Development Agency GIZ to successfully reform physical education in South Africa, bringing activity and sports to thousands of primary school children for the first time since the 1990s.


Mayor of London, 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.”


Will Norman, Walking and Cycling Commissioner, 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.”


Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “I was incredibly impressed by the skills, experiences and enthusiasm shown by Will. He has a proven track record of getting people from a range of backgrounds active, and will use his experience of international public and private sector partnership work to collaborate well with TfL, boroughs and other partners. He will ensure that cycling and walking are given the focus they truly deserve as we deliver our Healthy Streets vision of a city that is more pleasant to live and move around in.”


Ashok Sinha, CEO of the London Cycling Campaign, said: “We believe that walking and cycling go hand in hand in making London a better place for everyone, and warmly welcome Will Norman into his new role as Walking and Cycling Commissioner. 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.”

Notes to editors

The new Walking and Cycling Commissioner is a full-time role responsible to Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport. The previous Mayor appointed a Cycling Commissioner who was only part-time. The new Walking and Cycling Commissioner will have the same status and access as the previous Cycling Commissioner.  


Will Norman was appointed after a rigorous and competitive selection process, unlike his predecessor in the role who was a political appointment. 152 people applied for the new post.


Will is expected to start in February.

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