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

Contracts Manager - Core Service

Liverpool City Council
37.849 - 42.683 per year
The successful candidate will manage and maintain Highways partnerships and contractual arrangements to ensure effective, quality and value for... Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Transport Inspectors – Land & Maritime Security

Department for Transport
£33,990
Looking for Transport Security Inspectors to join our team to focus on direct monitoring and assessing of industry compliance against... London (Greater)
Recuriter: Department for Transport

Lead Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£40,760 - £41,675 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Principal Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,788 - £35,934 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Project Officer - Air Quality

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 - £38,423
The successful candidate will ideally have a relevant degree or professional qualification. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Arborist

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£24.462 - £25.809
Seeking an experienced Climbing Arborist who has NPTC / LANTRA qualifications in chainsaw use and climbing operation units for an... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Environmental Enforcement Patrol Officer

Brent Council
£31,548 - £33,291 p.a. inc.
Looking for a person who has experience in undertaking enforcement work, carrying out awareness raising/promotional work.  Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Traffic Management Operative/Foreman

Balfour Beatty
Competitive
Are you a Traffic Management Operative/Foreman with Highspeed (12AB) Qualifications, looking for a new and exciting opportunity? If so read on..... Leatherhead, Surrey
Recuriter: Balfour Beatty

Principal Economic Growth Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £45,000 per annum
It is an exciting time to be joining the Economic Growth team at Essex County Council. Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Economic Infrastructure Manager

Essex County Council
Up to £57,000 per annum
It is an exciting time to be joining the Economic Growth team at Essex County Council Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Service - Highways

Sheffield City Council
£69,091 - £74,137
Looking for someone dynamic, with vision, energy, and an outward focus who can build strong relationships with all key partners, stakeholders with... Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Sheffield City Council

Senior Transport Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£33,799 - £35,934
You will be responsible for assisting the Team Manager with the day to day operational management and delivery of the transport service.  Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

PCN Appeals Officer

Brent Council
£26,745 - £30,711 p.a. inc.
Looking for an experienced parking professional to join the Notice Processing Team. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Environmental Protection Officer

London Borough of Sutton & The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames
£25,809 to £33,291 (Grade F-G) / £33,291 to £42,684 (Grade H-I)
As an Environmental Protection Officer, you will be part of a small multidisciplinary team delivering a range of statutory environmental functions... Kingston Upon Thames (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Sutton & The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

Environmental Protection Team Manager

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£44.607 - £47.511
We would like to hear from exceptional candidates with broad pollution control experience and a can-do attitude who... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Highways Gang Leader

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
An exciting opportunity for a Highways Gang Leader has arose based at Taylors Lane, Oldbury. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Road Agreements Team Leader OCC5803

Oxfordshire County Council
£49,522 - £56,481 per annum
Take the next step in your career - click here to find out more information. Oxford, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Highways and Street Lighting Manager

London Borough of Bromley
Circa £43,000 per annum
Seeking an experienced professional with experience in highway, street lighting and traffic engineering. Bromley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bromley

Principal Transport Planner

Brent Council
£48,492 - £51,450 p.a. inc.
The post holder will play a key role in implementing the Mayor’s Transport Strategy at a borough level through... Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Traffic Engineer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
The post-holder will be supporting the design, management and maintenance of traffic signals, signs, bollards and... Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council