MON, FEB 10, 2020
Well-connected PR firm boss’s nomination for voluntary role backed by British Cycling and Sir Chris Hoy, among others
Adam Tranter, who as CEO of PR firm Fusion Media works with some of the biggest names in Britain’s cycling industry including Brompton Bicycles and Evans Cycles, has been appointed Bicycle Mayor of Coventry – only the second such appointment in the UK with Richard Ingham becoming Bicycle Mayor of Cumbria last year, and the first in a city here.
There are now around 100 Bicycle Mayors worldwide, with the concept originating in the Netherlands, which Tranter visited last week for the Bicycle Mayor European Summit and saw first-hand some of the infrastructure and initiatives that have made the country a byword for everyday cycling.
His nomination to the voluntary role had the support of, among others, British Cycling, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling and Walking and Sir Chris Hoy, who said: “There are few people who understand the importance of getting more people active than Adam.
“There are even fewer who have the practical experience and knowhow to bottle all that is great about cycling and take it to new cyclists.
“I look forward to seeing what Adam can achieve, getting more children cycling and continuing to raise awareness of the many benefits.”
Born and raised in Coventry, Tranter moved back to Warwickshire from London with his wife Aurelie and their twin five-year-old sons and last year the couple set up the county’s first school cycling bus, taking 20 children safely to school each Friday.
Speaking about his new role, he said: “We now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help more people onto bikes for greater personal and public health and to help the climate crisis; that’s why I’m working as Bicycle Mayor of Coventry.”
He has outlined the following as his three main priorities:
1. Work to ensure that Coventry meets its cycling potential; working with policymakers to ensure priority is given to cycling and active travel
2. Engage media and partners to better communicate and showcase the benefits of cycling for everybody in Coventry
3. Prioritise the implementation and promotion of initiatives that benefit the most vulnerable: children, people with special mobility needs, vulnerable road users and those affected most by pollution.
“I am engaging with key stakeholders to outline my vision as Bicycle Mayor,” Tranter continued. “It’s essential that this is a collaborative approach; I want to help bring together the best of Coventry and showcase what’s possible when you put people first.
“A key focus will be holding power to account in ensuring cycling and active travel are given the funding that’s needed to transform the number of people choosing cycling.
“Coventry had a strong association with the bicycle thanks to pioneers such as John Kemp Starley who invented the modern safety bicycle design in the city.
“Over a 100-year period there were more than 450 bicycle makers in Coventry but things then moved onto car manufacture and that industry still has a presence in the city today.
“These companies are important to the political landscape and local economy but there is currently no voice for cycling; we need to change that.”
He said that he was concerned about how electric vehicles are widely perceived as a leading solution to the climate emergency and tackling congestion, explaining: “The conversation in government about decarbonising transport at the moment is almost entirely centred around electric vehicles.
“An e-traffic jam is still a traffic jam; cars take up a huge amount of public space and infrastructure and in the UK, 24 per cent of all journeys by car are under 1 mile.”
He added: “We’re going to have to make some tough decisions in light of the climate emergency. We need to make cycling and walking the obvious choice for short journeys and reduce Coventry’s car dominance.
“Moving to electric vehicles isn’t going to stop congestion or help our city be more liveable and sociable.”
The first step for Tranter in his new role will be to start discussing the city’s cycling strategy with Coventry City Council and Transport for West Midlands, as well as working alongside former BMX and track cycling world champion Shanaze Reade, who was last year appointed as the first West Midlands Cycling and Walking Ambassador.