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Glasgow appoints 'Cycling Czar'

Scotland's biggest city looks to grow cycling for commuting, leisure and sport - updated strategy due later this year...

Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, has appointed a ‘Cycling Czar’ who will be tasked with increasing levels of leisure, commuting and sports cycling as the city looks to build on the cycling’s higher profile ahead of its own hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

The man who will take on the new role is former Scottish Sports Minister Frank McAveety, a former Labour MSP who lost his seat at the last Holyrood elections. Mr McAveety plans to publish an updated cycling strategy for the city later this year.

"We realise there are obstacles,” he said, quoted in The Herald. “Commuters face potholes and, often, a lack of consideration from motorists. Youngsters who want to take up competitive cycling might struggle to find proper coaching, but these are the things we want to address."

According to The Herald, Mr McAveety, who is also a former leader of Glasgow council leader, has said that he has had a "love/hate relationship" with bicycles, although he insists that in his new role he wants cycling to move ahead of walking, football, swimming and dancing as the most popular healthy activity enjoyed by the city’s population.

The newspaper adds that there has been 50 per cent growth during the past three years in the number of journeys made in and out of the city centre by bicycle, but says that cycling still only accounts for 2 per cent of commuter trips.

During his political career, Mr McAveety has at times been involved in controversy, stepping down as chair of a Holyrood committee in 2010 after a microphone picked up comments he made about the appearance of a woman in the public gallery during committee proceedings, while in 2004 he lost his job as Scottish Culture Minister in the wake of a scandal dubbed ‘Piegate’ earlier that year.



Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Municipal Waste | 11 years ago

Can you say, QUANGO? Or is that QUANGP?  39

magnatom | 11 years ago

I've written a letter to our new cycling Czar. You can see a copy here (

mad_scot_rider | 11 years ago

Frank McAveety has a slightly checkered past, it's true

It is also worth noting however that he has been active in winning investment for Schools, establishing the Local Authority Standards Committee and pushing for free entry for schoolkids into SPL matches

I personally have little time for the Labour party in general and Glasgow City Council in particular - but there are FAR worse candidates for this role and to his credit he does work hard in the roles he is given (pork-piegate not withstanding)

A V Lowe | 11 years ago

I see your quotes have been changed slightly from that in Monday's Evening Times

"A CYCLING 'czar' has been appointed by Glasgow City Council to get more people on their bikes by 2020.

Councillor Frank McAveety has been given the job of making cycling the most popular activity in the city.

The former sports minister said he was determined to see biking overtake walking, football, swimming and dancing as the city's favourite sport."

The omission of the TRAN sparked wide comment and presumably shows that many parts of the administration are seriously out of touch

He's right about the holes in the road though - still have the one that broke my hip in 2001, and some where the tram lines were removed in the mid 1960's open for the business of bringing down cyclists and damaging bikes. You'd think that with 50 years to do the work properly they could have sorted the old tram lines potholes problem.

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