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Oxfordshire scraps cycling champ role


Deniz Huseyin
16 December 2020

Oxfordshire County Council has announced it will not be replacing cycling champion Suzanne Bartington who stood down, arguing it was “seemingly impossible to enact positive change with a portfolio or budget responsibility”. Her post is being replaced by a cross-party advisory group of councillors.

Bartington, an Oxfordshire county councillor, was given the role of promoting cycling and advising senior councillors on how to improve bike facilities. But after admitting to being “frustrated at all the barriers to delivering meaningful change”, she resigned in October.   

She told her followers on Twitter: “I really enjoyed this role, learned heaps about active travel advocacy met the most amazing like-minded folks and could try to nudge for positive change. Sadly no more…

“The optimal model (in my humble opinion) is an appointed Walking and Cycling Commissioner with strong political buy-in... was hopeful Oxfordshire could be the first non-metro authority to make that move.”

Councillor Arash Fatemian said a “diversity of approach” was needed. In his motion proposing the change, Fatemian said different areas of Oxfordshire needed different kinds of cycling infrastructure, and a one-size fits all approach was not working, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

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