Oxfordshire’s residents packed out the town hall on 2nd October to hear Andrew Gilligan’s talk “Roads are for People”. The talk was a rallying cry for real change to how we organise transport in and around our city.

This is imperative to meet the challenges of more houses, more jobs and more people in our city. Gilligan strongly advocates for the creation of a high-level strategic cycling commissioner for Oxfordshire.

A cycling commissioner (in other places sometimes called a cycling czar) is an omni-present force for cycling. If there is a discussion about planning, roads, training, curriculum, pollution, congestion, or environment the cycling commissioner is there. She or he puts the case for better provision for cycling, so that it is built into plans from the get-go rather than an after-thought.

Crucially, this person is high level, would report directly to, and have the full support of the leader of the county council.

On Yer Bike has put together a short job description, just in case anyone should want to make a speculative application.

You may see some similarities to the London Cycling Commissioner – well there is no point in reinventing the wheel is there?

So here is OYB’s dream job advert:

The Oxfordshire Cycling Czar will work closely with the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council to help deliver the council’s commitments to active travel as set out in the Local Transport Plan 4.

The principal role will be to:

  • Act as an advocate for cycling in Oxfordshire, raising its profile as a way to travel
  • Ensure that cycle safety is a top priority with the county council and city and district councils
  • Engage with both councils, major employers, and other institutions within Oxford who have the opportunity to influence the safety of cyclists in Oxfordshire, or promote cycling in and around the city and Oxfordshire’s market towns.
  • Identify, lobby for, and secure funding
  • Ensure that any cycling projects meet quality standards and deliver cycling facilities for all ages and all abilities.
  • Represent Oxfordshire’s interests on cycling at events, conferences and public launches
  • Provide briefings for and reports to the Leader of the county council
  • Person specification
  • The candidate will have strong strategic skills, with an ability to propose and evaluate strategic options and to lead the policy debate in the areas covered. Well-developed analytical and problem-solving skills and ability to devise creative solutions to complex problems and issues.
  • Knowledge and significant experience of operating in a complex political environment together with consultation and negotiation skills to seek to change opinion and influence political and other stakeholders.
  • Exceptional influencing and communications skills, with the ability to coalesce different constituencies around an agenda and to represent the vision of the Cabinet Leader and his council compellingly in public. Ability to engender maximum trust and confidence of the County Council through the highest level of integrity.