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Author Topic: New Transport Secretary is Grant Shapps  (Read 4412 times)
TonyK
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« on: July 24, 2019, 08:27:29 pm »

What do we write to the new Transport Secratary ... the forum's manifesto? - I will split that to a news thread if it takes off.

Edit by Grahame - split from http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=21948 with Grant Shapps announced as new Transport Secratary.  The first post in this split thread is from before his name was announced, but applies well to the new secretary rather than final hours of the previous one.

Dear New Transport Minister,

Congratulations on getting the job - I hope you enjoy it! That said, I hope also that you realise the importance of the role you have taken on, and the enormity of the task facing you.

Affordable efficient and sustainable transport is essential to our modern economy. We also have a target to reduce our emissions across the country, and transport must play a major part in this. City centres clogged by stationary cars, buses and lorries do nothing to help us achieve our objectives, and cost fortunes in time wasted and pollution. Unreliable railways will do little to encourage people out of cars for short journeys and aeroplanes for longer domestic trips.

While roads, sea and air are important parts of your new brief, I shall concentrate on rail. I am sure you will have plenty of advice on the other matters.

Of late, the nation that gave the world railways has been more noted for procrastination than for progress. Too many projects have been started, partially planned, paused, or just plain forgotten about. In the West and South West of England, this has given rise to the impression, rightly or wrongly, that London sucks up all the funding and expertise, at the expense of the lowly provinces. Everything that does move forward does so at a glacial pace, always with the fear of cancellation lurking in the shadows, no matter how much has already been spent on a project. Examples are easy to find. Portishead railway, which should have been re-opened half a decade ago had the most realistic proposal been followed up, is now slated for a 2023 opening, although few will have faith in that until rails begin to be relaid. The Parkway Park and Ride was a "certainty" for 2013, but still isn't even under construction. Reopening regular services to Okehamptonhas been talked about in many a traffic jam over the years, a new route avoiding Dawlish was all the rage for a short time only, and the electrification programme stopped short of Bath and Temple Meads, meaning that services in the two cities most concerned about the effect of diesel on the quality of air and the climate generally are still waiting for electrified trains, originally promised in the 1980s.

I ask you to give more power to the local authorities, specifically with a faster path for local rail improvement schemes. This could be the reopening of old lines to serve new developments, the addition of new stations to existing lines, providing more frequent local services where demand exists. This would include procuring additional rolling stock, new signalling, or redoubling of single track lines. The local authorities would work up the business case for such schemes, within agreed guidlines and standards, and hand them to DfT and Network Rail in the expectation of them being done. The current system of going cap-in-hand to DfT every few years, getting encouragement, then finding that the scheme is not supported is frustrating, expensive, and does nothing to alleviate the problem identified. There would be savings in time and effort for schemes that have merit, but hit the buffers. Network rail could establish a small local schemes' taskforce with a small part of the annual budget ring-fenced for such schemes. It would then be able to concentrate on the bigger national network.

There will be many calls on your time and your money, but the approval and commissioning of a few small local schemes annually would soon make a difference. And I'm sure that a young talent such as yourself will be more than able to make this a reality.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 06:34:16 am by grahame » Logged

Now, please!
ZoŽ
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« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2019, 08:51:26 pm »

Just heard on the radio that the new Transport Secretary is Grant Shapps.
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TonyK
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2019, 09:09:28 pm »

Just heard on the radio that the new Transport Secretary is Grant Shapps.

HS2 will continue then. His in-tray is probably full already.

As I understand it, he is also a supporter of the third runway at Heathrow. He was quoted by the BBC in September 2016 as saying, in response to proposals for a free vote on the issue:

Quote
Mr Shapps, a former international development minister who now heads the British Infrastructure group of MPs, told the BBC that the government should send "really positive signals that we're open for business".

He added that the handling of ports and airports was "about the most important way that you can show that you're looking outwards, going to be internationalist about this".

"And I think to come up with some fudge that said, well some Cabinet ministers won't need to vote on this, in fact could even argue the other way, would be entirely wrong because it would be leaving the future of our infrastructure pretty much to chance."

Can't see that BoJo the scary clown is going to lie down in front of his bulldozer.

I hope he likes Portishead and Okehampton.
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martyjon
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2019, 06:21:39 am »

Transport not yet announced. Jacob Rees-Mogg?  Tongue


Overnight news to me, the mans Leader of the House.
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GBM
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2019, 07:13:37 am »

Transport not yet announced. Jacob Rees-Mogg?  Tongue


Overnight news to me, the mans Leader of the House.
"The enforcer" is the alternative name for Leader of the House!  Appropriate job for Jacob.....  Wink
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TonyK
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2019, 08:26:12 am »

"The enforcer" is the alternative name for Leader of the House!  Appropriate job for Jacob.....  Wink

It's amazing how scary a polite whisper can be, compared to a red-faced spittle-laced bellowing from 2 inches.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2019, 11:40:28 am »

For me, this is a disappointing development. I'm more than a little concerned about his fitness for public office, any office, not just transport but I don't want to get too heated up about it with temperatures like they are today!
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