International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan is new transport secretary, following the sacking of Grant Shapps by newly appointed prime minister Liz Truss.
Shapps, who became transport secretary in 2019, had backed Truss’s rival Rishi Sunak in the Conservative Party’s leadership election.
On Twitter Shapps said: “It has been a privilege to serve as transport secretary; a job I loved. Now I look forward to being a strong, independent voice on the backbenches, developing policies that will further the Conservative cause and the interests of my constituents in Welwyn Hatfield.”
Trevelyan backed a rival candidate, Tom Tugendhat, in the Conservative leadership campaign, but switched to Truss when he was knocked out in the third ballot.
She said on Twitter: “I’m thrilled to have been appointed transport sec. Transport is crucial to our lives - bringing people together, creating jobs & connecting the UK with the world.
“Looking forward to getting to work on the many challenges & opportunities transport brings.”
Trevelyan, who has been Berwick-upon-Tweed's MP since 2015, was appointed secretary of state for international development in 2020, and president of the Board of Trade from 2021 to 2022.
Rail minister Wendy Morton has been appointed chief whip, and her replacement has yet to be announced. Morton, who became a transport minister in December 2021, endorsed Liz Truss during the 2022 Conservative Party leadership election.
A DfT spokeswoman told LTT that whether or not the other junior transport ministers remain in their posts has yet to be decided.
During his tenure as transport secretary, Shapps introduced a range of strategies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In May 2021 he told local transport authorities in England (outside London) that a total of £3bn over a three-year period would be available under the National Bus Strategy and BSIP (BSIP) Guidance. It appears that this has since been cut to £1.4bn, with 31 of the 79 LTAs that submitted BSIP bids being awarded grants earlier this year.
In a bid to encourage cycling and walking, Shapps unveiled the £2bn Gear Change strategy, which included an initial £250m emergency active travel fund. The strategy led to the launch earlier this year of Active Travel England, the Government’s new executive agency responsible for improving the standards of cycling and walking infrastructure.
Last year Shapps announced plans for Great British Railways (GBR), a centralised public body which is due to oversee rail transport in Great Britain from 2023.
He also pledged £2.8bn to support the motor industry and drivers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. The transport decarbonisation plan set out the Government’s intention to phase out date the sale of polluting cars and vans by 2035 and new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) by 2040.
In recent months, Shapps has clashed with unions who are taking industrial action over pay, jobs and conditions. On 1 September, after the RMT announced further strikes on 15 and 17 September, Shapps said on Twitter: “By refusing to put the 8% pay offer to their members, union bosses are holding both passengers & their own members to ransom. It's time to give workers a say by holding a vote on the deal.”
Shapps has been an advocate of all-lane running (ALR) smart motorways, where the hard shoulder is a permanent live 'running' lane of traffic except in emergencies. However, in January he agreed to pause their roll-out until there was five years’ worth of safety data available.
Speaking at the final hustings of the Conservative leadership campaign last week, Liz Truss said smart motorways should be reviewed and stopped if they were not working. She also said she would “look into” changing speed limits on motorways from mandatory to advisory.
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