New chair appointed to Commons Transport Committee


Huw Merriman, Member of Parliament for Bexhill and Battle, has been appointed as the new chair of the Transport Select Committee.

The Conservative MP had the support of former chair and Labour MP Lilian Greenwood, and was a member of the previous Parliament's transport committee under her.

In his pitch for the nomination he said: 'Transport reform is vital and I will make sure we shine a light on the things that don't work, make positive recommendations for change and hold those to account to make sure they are delivered.'

Huw Merriman

No timetable for the appointment of the other members is set, with the political parties yet to cast ballots; however Transport Network understands that the hope is to have all the members in place by the end of next month.

An election through a secret ballot is usually employed to appoint committee members if the committee is oversubscribed.

Issues that Mr Merriman could face as chair include rail reform, HS2, Heathrow expansion, the use of new technologies,, and transport's impact on the environment.

Smart motorways, road condition and road safety are all issues the last committee looked into but which are still areas of major public concern.

Mr Merriman has consistently voted in support of HS2 and consistently voted against a publicly-owned railway system - something which may place him at odds with the prevailing public mood and the apparent failure of various rail franchises.

He voted against a proposal to even allow, but not require, High Speed 2 passenger services to be run by the public sector operators.

He also voted against regulation of local bus networks.

On the environment, he also voted in line with his party and against increasing action on climate change and carbon emissions.

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