Currently reading: The new Government and motoring
Speculation mounts that new Transport minister will come from the Liberal Democrats

Speculation is mounting that the new Secretary of State for Transport will be appointed from within the ranks of the Liberal Democrat party.

However, while it has been announced that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have agreed a coalition, it has not yet been revealed who will act as cabinet ministers in the new government.

Despite this, both sides are reported to have tentatively agreed where the jobs will go, and unconfirmed reports suggest that the Liberal Democrats will head up transport, one of the key areas of the party's election manifesto.

Prior to the election, the Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Norman Baker said: "“We believe that maintaining the existing road network is essential and that sometimes there is a good economic case for building new roads locally. That is why we supported pledges to put more money into fixing potholes and would not cut the regional funding allocation for building strategic roads.

“However, we would require any new roads to meet strict economic and environmental criteria and are very wary of building huge new national motorways that can end up actually increasing traffic, cut through the green belt and damage the environment.

“We believe that motorists should be charged fairly for the use they make of the roads and in the longer term we want to move away from a system that taxes car ownership in favour of one that takes account of the use motorists make of the roads.

“And in the short term, we believe that fuel duty should be cut for remote, rural areas.”

The Liberal Democrats have never formed a government, but their attitude towards drivers is well reflected by Lib Dem local councils.

Most famously, the Lib Dem council in Richmond, south-west London, has introduced parking and resident permit charges based on CO2 emissions.

Zealous control of parking has been a Lib Dem favourite since the mid-2000s, when Islington council went on a de-parking rampage. It removed road-side parking spaces and hiked-up charges. Draconian enforcement ratcheted up the number of fines.

Join the debate

Add a comment…
roadtester 13 May 2010

Re: The new Government and motoring

Strangely there was the 10 reg old style XJ mentioned above but the first of the new XJs, which AFAICT only made an appearance once the new ministers were appointed, was a 59.

BTW, the new XJ was the car allocated to Theresa May, the new Home Secretary - think that's one of the jobs that qualifies for bullet-proof transport.

Los Angeles 13 May 2010

Re: The new Government and motoring

Casanova wrote:
Surely Cameron has a fair claim to have "won" the election, having a clear lead in the number of seats and overall votes.
No. You are seeing it in terms of England as Britain. The Scots, Welsh, and Irish did not vote for the Conservative Party. Cameron has enough modesty to acknowledge that otherwise he'd not have welcomed the Lib-Dems to co-govern. No party was elected under the current rules, though under the rules the Tories could have tried to go it alone as a minority government. What the English electorate succeeded in doing is removing a prime minister unfit for the job, one without vision. (In more senses than one!)

Casanova wrote:
Need I remind you GWB "won" the 2000 US election despite having 500,000 less votes than his opponent?
Are we to be grateful for the carnage that is Iraq, for removal of civil rights thereafter, including Habeas Corpus, and all because one party decided it had a mandate to install an extreme ideology when in fact it had no such gift from the nation at all?

As the UK has no Bill of Rights one can only hope it keeps a tighter grip on its administrations shenanigans than the US did on Bush. As for hanging chads, could there be a parallel with the English election turning away thousands from the voting booths - any heads rolling?

RicardoJ 12 May 2010

Re: The new Government and motoring

Ruined wrote:
It's now been confirmed that the transport secretary is Philip Hammond - a Tory.

PHOOWEE. Let's just hope he doesnt have too many lib dem sub-ministers in the department.