Norman to trumpet active travel in new DfT line-up


Three new Department for Transport ministers have had their portfolios allocated, with former transport committee chair Huw Merriman getting the rail and HS2 brief, Jesse Norman given responsibility for decarbonisation and Richard Holden put in charge of roads policy.

The allocation of responsibilities follows months of ministerial turnover, dating back to the resignation of Boris Johnson as prime minister, with some ministers arriving in and leaving the department without apparently being given a portfolio.

Mr Merriman, who was the chair of the Transport Select Committee prior to his appointment as a minister of state, has responsibility for:

  • rail transformation and reform
  • rail infrastructure
  • High Speed 2 (HS2)
  • Integrated Rail Plan
  • Northern Powerhouse Rail
  • international rail
  • rail passenger services and freight
  • accessibility.

Mr Norman (pictured), another minister of state and previously a minister in the department, once again gets the active travel brief.

His government biography describes him as ‘an enthusiastic cyclist, hill-walker and amateur jazz musician’.

He also has responsibility for:

  • transport decarbonisation
  • air quality
  • technology, for example autonomous vehicles, drones, e-scooters
  • secondary legislation, including retained EU law
  • space
  • skills, science and research
  • corporate, including public appointments
  • accessibility.

Parliamentary under secretary of state Richard Holden has responsibility for:

  • roads and motoring, including DVLA, DVSA, VCA
  • regions and devolution
  • local transport, including buses, taxis, light rail
  • union connectivity
  • haulage
  • Future of Freight
  • London (incl. Crossrail, Transport for London)
  • accessibility (cross-cutting responsibility)

Baroness Charlotte Vere, who was appointed as a parliamentary under secretary of state at the DfT in April 2019, is its longest serving current minister and the only survivor from the Truss administration. She is also listed as having resonsibility for accessibility and appears to have broadly retained the responsibilities she was given at the last reshuffle in September:

  • aviation
  • maritime
  • security, including Ukraine
  • civil contingencies
  • Kent
  • international
  • women’s safety.

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