The interests of cyclists in Richmond will be promoted by a newly-appointed cycling champion, who aims to make cycling easier and safer across the borough.

Newly-elected Richmond Councillor Jean Loveland, herself a keen cyclist who has tackled South Africa’s annual Argos 109km challenge, plans to bring forward essential infrastructure, promotion and training.

She said: "I will do everything in my power to promote the interests of cycling across Richmond.

"The council is in the early stages of putting a cycling strategy together and I look forward to working with cyclists of all ages and abilities."

Opposition spokesman for education Councillor Gareth Roberts congratulated Coun Loveland on her appointment, but was sceptical about some of the promises made by the administration.

He said: "Let's not forget that we had four years of Councillor Harborne, another 'keen cyclist', championing the cause of cycling within the borough and she achieved very little.

"The fact that Coun Loveland herself claims that in their fifth year in office the Conservatives are only just at the 'early stages of putting a cycling strategy together' rather gives the lie to their apparent enthusiasm to get people on their bikes."

Richmond Cycling communications co-ordinator Tim Lennon met the new cycling champion and said she had a good understanding of how good cycling could be in the borough.

He said: "There have been some terrible decisions in the last few years on things like the rubbish cycle lane on the A305, but we felt the new team really want to help make the borough London's best place to use a bicycle."