Mark Harper appointed new transport secretary

09.05 | 26 October 2022 |

Image: UK Government

The UK has its third transport secretary since the beginning of September, with Mark Harper assuming the role in Rishi Sunak’s new Government.

Mr Harper replaces Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who had only been in post since 6 September.

In a tweet, Mr Harper said he was “delighted” to be appointed – adding that “transport affects us all, and I can’t wait to tackle the challenges we face so we can deliver for communities across our United Kingdom”.

First elected as the MP for the Forest of Dean in 2005, the 52-year-old held a number of junior ministerial roles in the early days of David Cameron’s coalition government, including immigration minister and minister for disabled people.

Harper was promoted to chief whip after the Conservative general election victory in May 2015 – but has spent the last few years as a backbench MP.

He now joins an ever-growing list of MPs to have served as transport secretary since 2010, including Philip Hammond (2010-11), Justine Greening (2011-12), Sir Patrick McLoughlin (2012-16), Chris Grayling (2016-19), Grant Shapps (2019-22) and of course, Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

What’s on the agenda for the new secretary?
The new transport secretary arrives at an important moment, not least because of the instability of the last few months.

The road safety sector awaits the publication of the new Road Safety Strategic Framework.

The framework was due to be launched in July – however this was cancelled due to the extreme heat preventing the event’s speakers from travelling. 

It is now expected in the autumn.

There are several other documents still overdue, as outlined by David Davies in an opinion piece for Road Safety GB in August.

These include the DfT monitoring report on the e-scooter rental trials, originally due in September 2021.

At present, there is no news on the future of the DfT’s junior ministers, including Katherine Fletcher, who became the new roads minister last month.



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