A LEADING expert tasked with finding ways of making Oxford a world-class city for cyclists has formally started work.

Andrew Gilligan was appointed by the National Infrastructure Commission last month.

He met the leaders of Oxfordshire County and City Councils, senior staff from Oxford University and members of cycling groups on Monday and yesterday.

He said: "Everyone has been extremely receptive. I am extremely grateful to them for meeting me at such short notice and I think that shows how committed they are."

Mr Gilligan, who is also a journalist, served as London’s cycling commissioner from 2013 until 2016.

The NIC has asked him to come up with ideas to improve cycling in Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge. Currently 19 per cent of Oxford’s population cycles to work. Only Cambridge has a higher proportion of all UK towns and cities.

The leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Councillor Ian Hudspeth, said: “Oxfordshire County Council is investing millions of pounds on cycle route improvements and will continue to do so in future.

“We want to make cycling accessible to everyone in Oxfordshire, regardless of age, background or cycling experience.”

While Councillor Bob Price, the leader of Oxford City Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome Andrew Gilligan to Oxford. We want Oxford to become not just the UK’s cycling capital, but an international model that inspires cities across the world.”