In the lead up to its centenary (2029), Living Streets has appointed a new President and Vice President to support the cause of everyday walking.

Just weeks after the announcement of former Labour MP Mary Creagh becoming the new CEO, Living Streets has selected Lord Michael Bates as its new President.

Lord Bates, a conservative peer, is a former Home Office and DFID Minister and is a keen walker – having walked 9,189 miles in 25 countries, raising over £1 million for charity in the past five years. He is also Walking Ambassador for the County of Northumberland, author of Walk your Dream and an enthusiastic supporter of walk to school.


Lord Michael Bates

It is a great pleasure to have been appointed President of a charity with such a wonderful history, and one which is held in such high esteem. I believe walking can deliver great health benefits as well as contributing to a cleaner and greener environment. I look forward to supporting Living Streets with an ambitious new strategy to raise the voice for walking.”

Lord Michael Bates
Susan Claris

Susan Claris, Transport Planner at Arup, the global engineering and design consultancy, has been appointed Vice President. Long a supporter and trustee of Living Streets, Susan has been a passionate leader in promoting active travel; authoring Cities Alive: Towards a Walking World and being awarded Transport Planner of the Year by the Transport Planning Society in 2019.

Both Lord Bates and Susan Claris will use their new roles to support Living Streets’ campaigns for better streets and investment in walking, while using their networks and unique positions to promote the charity’s cause and inspire people to walk more.

The work Living Streets does in promoting walking and championing better streets for walking is vital to combatting many of society’s issues and improving people’s quality of life. As an avid walker, I experience the benefits it brings to my life on a daily basis. It’s a real joy to be appointed Living Streets’ Vice President at such a time of step change for active travel.

Susan Claris, Associate Director, Arup

Jane Roberts, Chair of Living Streets’ Trustees, who appointed the two roles said: “We’re thrilled and excited to welcome Lord Bates to the Living Streets cause and so pleased Susan has accepted the role of Vice President with us.

“I have no doubt, that with these two prominent figures supporting our work, we will achieve more for walking.”

Lord Bates and Susan Claris step into the President and Vice President roles after Terence Bendixson and Kenneth Chapman stepped down with over 65 years of support between them.

Jane Roberts said: “The service Terence and Ken gave to Living Streets, as President and Vice President respectively, was outstanding. Hard shoes to fill, they both committed a large portion of their lives to the Living Streets cause. We already miss them but look forward to this new chapter with Lord Bates and Susan Claris part of the charity.”