Speaker biographies

The Cycling Scotland Conference 2018 speakers are:

  • Andrea Brymer - Conference Chair
  • Councillor Kevin Cordell - Convener of Neighbourhood Services and Dundee Cycling Spokesperson
  • Isla Rowntree - Founder and Director, Islabikes
  • Dr Rachel Aldred - Reader in Transport, University of Westminister
  • Angela van der Kloof - Member of Dutch Cycling Embassy
  • Michael Matheson - Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, and Connectivity

Michael Matheson - Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity

He was born in Glasgow in 1970 and educated at St John Bosco Secondary School. He went on to study at Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh, where he obtained a BSc in Occupational Therapy. He also holds a BA and a Diploma in Applied Social Sciences from the Open University.

Prior to becoming an MSP, Mr Matheson practised as a Community Occupational Therapist with Stirling Council, Central Regional Council, and Highland Regional Council.

He was elected as the MSP for Falkirk West following the May 2007 elections. Previous to that he was a Regional MSP for Central Scotland from 1999 to 2007. Before being appointed Minister for Public Health and Sport, Mr Matheson was Vice Convenor of the European and External Relations Committee. He also sat on the Scottish Parliament's Health and Sport Committee, and previously served on the Justice and Enterprise and Culture Committees. Michael Matheson was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Justice in November 2014 and reappointed in May 2016.

He was re-elected in May 2011 and thereafter appointed as Minister for Public Health.

Andrea Brymer - Conference Chair

Andrea is one of Scotland's best known newsreaders and currently the main female anchor for STV North​. The flagship STV News at Six has just been awarded News Programme of the Year by the Royal Television Society.

Andrea started her career as a journalist at STV and was quickly promoted to the role of features reporter, which saw her tackle a huge variety of serious news issues to the more daredevil role as all-round action girl.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Andrea then moved into live presenting and has been reading the news now for over 18 years. During that time, she’s covered many of Scotland’s biggest stories, many live on location, including the Independence Referendum, the flooding which devastated many parts of Aberdeenshire and the ditching of a North Sea helicopter which claimed 16 lives.

Andrea works closely to support a number of charities including Rotary International, the Wood Foundation and the STV Appeal. She’s also patron of the TCCL charity, Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukemia.


Councillor Kevin Cordell, Convener of Neighbourhood Services and Dundee Cycling Spokesperson

Councillor Kevin Cordell has been a key member of Dundee City Council's administration since 2012, representing the Broughty Ferry area of Dundee.

He is the current Convener of Neighbourhood Services - a service which includes all aspects of Housing Services, the Environment and Communities. This remit covers the maintenance and management of the city's open space, which is paramount to the health and well-being of citizens.

As a passionate advocate for sustainable transport and particularly cycling, Kevin was recently appointed as the Council's first Cycling Spokesperson and champion, a role in which he practices what he preaches.


Keynote Speaker:

Isla Rowntree – Founder and Director, Islabikes

Isla Rowntree is well-known and respected within the cycle industry as an accomplished cyclist, frame builder, and designer. In 2006 Isla founded Islabikes, where she has singlehandedly redefined the notion of a child’s bicycle with a product unparalleled in its depth of design detail. 

She combines a wealth of experience from competing nationally and internationally with mechanical and engineering expertise, and now leads the world in children’s bicycle design.


Afternoon Keynote Speaker:

Dr Rachel Aldred, Reader in Transport, University of Westminster

Rachel Aldred specialises in research on cycling and walking, including evaluating interventions, analysing injuries and near misses, estimating active travel potential, and studying in/equality in participation.

Rachel has published more than 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and won prizes including from the UK Economic and Social Research Council for Outstanding Impact in Public Policy, and from Total Women's Cycling for her pioneering Near Miss Project. She tweets at @RachelAldred and her personal blog is at www.rachelaldred.org

Angela van der Kloof, Member of Dutch Cycling Embassy

Angela is an experienced trainer, speaker and researcher who combines years of working on cycle training ‘on-the-ground’ with academic skills. She has been a bike trainer since 1991, and developed teaching methods and materials for teaching adults to ride the bicycle and learn the rules of the road.

These are used throughout the Netherlands. She also started to train other cycle trainers from the mid 1990’s onwards. She uses this experience in her consulting work, when supporting municipalities and regions, inside and outside of the Netherlands, to develop bicycle (safety) policies and plans.

Angela participated in one of the first major studies into the benefits of e-bikes for the city of Rotterdam in 2008, and has watched this sector develop, along with the cargo bike movement. She has a firm understanding of the topic and she uses this interest in her work when exploring the possibilities e-bikes and cargo bikes hold for transforming the ways families, businesses and cities operate. Alongside her day job with Mobycon, Angela works on a PhD that focuses on the role of formal and informal cycle education within the Netherlands.