Bristol now has a Bicycle Mayor to accelerate the city’s approach to cycling. Leah DeHaan joins an international network of change-makers to accelerate the adoption of cycling.
Leah joins an influential network of independent city leaders that is now active on every continent, all working to make their cities more human-centric and fit for the future.
Passionate about cycling and creating a more liveable city, Leah takes up this voluntary role beside her job as a bicycle courier. The Bicycle Mayor network was established and is coordinated by the Dutch social enterprise BYCS, which works to create and scale new solutions for cycling. It has a mission called 50by30, which means it aims for 50% of all city trips to be taken by bike by 2030.
BYCS has this mission because cycling does not just provide active, clean mobility solutions for cities but also improves public mental and physical health, improves the environment, builds stronger communities and fosters new, sustainable economic opportunities.
Every Bicycle Mayor in the network works towards this mission according to local needs but with the shared experience of the other Bicycle Mayors. And being part of the network also elevates each person’s profile, ensuring they can be more effective in their work.
Leah outlines her initial aims for 2021 as follows:
- Promoting the fact that no two cyclists look the same, we are all unique in our expression, whether we have never cycled before, or just once a month, to commuting by bicycle – we all have a choice.
- Promoting a shift in awareness and interest towards Bristol’s cycle culture by listening to a variety of perspectives and collaboratively taking action in pioneering ways.
To achieve this Leah states that she will:
- Establish and strength relationships with BAME and Women’s groups to support the access and uptake of cycling
Leah added “I am really pleased to be named as Bicycle Mayor of Bristol. Bristol has such great energy to stimulate change and a real opportunity to create excitement around cycling”.
Tom Swithinbank, chair of Bristol Cycling Campaign, welcomed Leah to the cycling advocacy movement in Bristol. “This is an exciting time for cycling in our city and we are delighted to welcome Leah into this role, it was great for us to work with BYCS on this project to find a Bicycle Mayor for Bristol and Leah is the perfect fit for this role. We look forward to working with Leah!”