Norman hails ‘Burkean moment’ in transport

 

Transport minister Jesse Norman has warned that ‘we have no time to lose’ as emerging technologies bring the chance to mitigate the mixed legacy of the 20th century motoring boom.

Speaking at an event last week, Mr Norman (pictured speaking below) acknowledged that the word 'historic' is ‘wildly over-used’ but added: ‘I think it is fair to say we are at a genuinely historic juncture for transport in this country.’

He said that while we can think of the 19th century in terms of the coming of the railways and the 20th century through the effects of the car and the changes it created: ‘I want to suggest in the time-honoured fashion that we are on the cusp of something extraordinarily interesting, by way of a transport revolution for the 21st century.’

”Local

Mr Norman, whose portfolio includes both roads and active travel, said the impact of the car was that ‘travel was democratised’ but acknowledged that it had ‘imposed huge externalities’.

‘Huge costs imposed on other people or other communities or other places, costs that were deferred or pushed onto others without any great recognition of what their effects might be,’ he said.

He added: ‘One of the worries I have is this: what does it do to an already individualistic society when someone is in a car in their own demarcated space surrounded by their personal area of control and not mixing with other people?’

Stressing the need to ‘maintain a sense of history’, Mr Norman acknowledged that ‘the 20th century motoring boom left us with a mixed legacy - something in many ways to be excited about and proud of, but something that also contained real worries for the future’.

He said: ‘As we think now about the transport technologies of the future - electric cars, hydrogen power, autonomous vehicles, drones, the use of big data across the whole range of transport - we understand so much more about the complex interactions between transport and everything around it.

‘This time, we can be much more explicit and self-conscious about the moral and political choices that come with those decisions.’

Describing the belief of 18th century philosopher Edmund Burke that society is something that each generation must improve and pass on to future generations, he said: ‘This is a Burkean moment for transport. We need to work out what we think about that, why it matters, what the drivers of change are, and how we can build a consensus that can sustain itself over time.’

He acknowledged that: ‘We’ve already placed some significant limits on the use of internal combustion engines in transport, to control its harmful side effects. Now we have to decide what we want from emerging vehicle technologies.

‘How can we use policymaking to support wider goals of clean air, higher productivity, and more sustainable economic growth? And how do we bring these new technologies to market?’

His conclusion suggested: 'We will move, if we do it right, from siloed thinking to a more integrated approach - integrated in terms of technology, geography, economics, sociology and culture.'

And perhaps intergated between past, present and future, individual and society. 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Engineer Maintenance

Liverpool City Council
£32,233 - £37,107
Liverpool City Council are looking to recruit an Engineer Maintenance. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Site Supervisor

Liverpool City Council
£32,233 - £37,107
Liverpool City Council wish to appoint Site Supervisors to supervise the City Council's highway construction works. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Permit Officer

Liverpool City Council
£23,111 - £27,358
Liverpool City Council are looking to recruit a Permit Officer. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Contracts Manager

Liverpool City Council
£37,107 - £41,846
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Contracts Manager based in Highways & Transportation. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Principal Engineer - Asset Management

Liverpool City Council
£37,107 - £41,846
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Principal Engineer - Asset Management. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Highways Inspector

Liverpool City Council
£32,233 - £37,107
We are seeking to recruit an enthusiastic individual to be a key member of our Highways Team. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Engineer - Capital Projects

Liverpool City Council
£32,233 - £37,107
Liverpool City Council is looking to recruit an Engineer - Capital Projects. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Engineer - Highways Capital Projects (S106)

Liverpool City Council
£32,233 - £37,107
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit an Engineer (Capital Projects). Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Team Leader - Asset Management

Liverpool City Council
£41,846 - £46,560
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Team Leader - Asset Management. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Technical Assistant

Liverpool City Council
£23,111 - £27,358
Liverpool City Council are looking to recruit a Technical Assistant. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Waste and Recycling Engagement Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£24,460 - £26,358
We now have an exciting opportunity for a talented and enthusiastic individual to join us and be part of the North London Waste Authority (NLWA). Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Major Transport & Development Projects - Strategic Specialist

Wiltshire Council
£51,763 - £57,066
Wiltshire has a highly regarded record of securing funding and delivering major transport improvements across all modes of travel. Wiltshire
Recuriter: Wiltshire Council

Assistant Director - Growth and Development

Lincoln City Council
£59,058.00 - £65,127.00
Looking for an experienced manager with a good track record in proactively driving economic growth and investment. Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincoln City Council

Assistant Director – Transport and Connectivity

Birmingham City Council
£73,513 - £90,864
This is one of a number of influential new senior roles for collaborative people, motivated by doing what’s right for our city and residents. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Director (Environment and Planning)

Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council
£77,265 p.a.
You will have a great opportunity to drive forward an ambitious strategic growth agenda... Hinckley, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council

Service Director – Environment

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£98,615
Looking to recruit to a key post within our Economy and Infrastructure Directorate.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Transport & Development Officer (Career Grade)

London Borough of Bexley
£29,130 - £40,173
This is a Career Grade post and an excellent opportunity. Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Transport Planning Officer x 2

Plymouth City Council
£32,233 to £41,846
If you are an experienced Transport Planner then we need you to step aboard.  Plympton, Plymouth
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Transport Planning Officer x 2

Plymouth City Council
£32,233 to £41,846
Exciting time to join the Council and this role represents an opportunity to make a real difference... Plympton, Plymouth
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Waste and Fleet Operations Manager

Ipswich Borough Council
£52,020 - £56,100 (pay award pending)
Looking for someone to lead and manage a large and vital operational area... Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Ipswich Borough Council