Simon O’Brien named as Liverpool City Region cycling and walking commissioner
To mark his announcement as Liverpool City Region cycling and walking commissioner, actor and green transport activist Simon O’Brien has taken politicians including Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and Liverpool City Region transport leader Cllr Liam Robinson on a bike ride along the Liverpool and Wirral waterfronts.
Simon is known for his roles in Brookside as well as a number of other series including Rough Guide and Find It, Fix It, Flog It and is an active bike user who ran a cycling café in Liverpool city centre for a number of years.
Simon will be helping to deliver the Metro Mayor’s vision for an active travel revolution across all six districts of the city region – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral.
The route cycled in Liverpool passed the north docks, the Ten Streets district and Bramley Moore Dock whilst on Wirral it took in the Tower Road Bridge and the site of the Wirral Waters development.
The ride gave Simon the chance to demonstrate some of the challenges people currently face in cycling around parts of the Liverpool City Region and allowed the Metro Mayor to outline his ambitious plans to get more people travelling by bike.
Simon O’Brien said:
“35 years ago I swapped the car for my bike and I’ve not looked back since. Cycling is not only a fantastic way of getting around, but can also help address climate change and air pollution and help people’s mental and physical health. But to make it the obvious choice for everyone, we need to seriously improve the facilities available.
That’s why I’m really happy to extend my current role as Liverpool’s cycling and walking commissioner to cover the entire Liverpool City Region, to work across all six boroughs to help make the Metro Mayor’s vision for a revolution in active travel a reality.”
At a recent meeting of the Combined Authority, funding was committed for the first seven routes of a planned 600km of walking and cycling network. The network will consist of new and upgraded routes and include key infrastructure including segregated cycle lanes, signage and special traffic signalling.
The Combined Authority is also investing in initiatives designed to drive behaviour change and encourage people to take more short journeys on cycle, like cycle safety training for young people and schemes to provide bikes to help newly employed people travel to work.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said:
“I’m delighted that Simon has agreed to be our cycling champion for the whole city region. I can’t think of anyone more enthusiastic about travelling by bike in the local area than he is.
It was fantastic to join him on a bike ride last week; to be able to take in some of the most beautiful areas on both sides of our waterfront; and to understand some of the significant challenges faced by people riding bikes in some parts of our city region.
That’s why we’re pushing forward with a network of 600km of new and upgraded cycling and walking routes, connected to our wider local transport network and with all the infrastructure to allow people to travel safely”