More change at DfT as new road safety minister arrives

10.57 | 26 July 2019 |

The DfT is welcoming its third road safety minister in as many months, with Chris Heaton-Harris the latest to assume the role.

Mr Heaton-Harris, MP for Daventry, replaces Michael Ellis, who departs after just two months in post.

Mr Heaton-Harris assumes responsibility for road safety, cycling and walking, electric and autonomous vehicles and Highways England.

He previously served as a minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union from July 2018 to April 2019 – and was Comptroller of HM Household (Government Whip) for a six month spell in 2018.

The move follows the arrival of Grant Shapps as transport secretary, announced earlier this week.

Ellis departs after short stint
Michael Ellis only assumed the role of road safety minister in May 2019 – succeeding Jesse Norman who left the DfT to take up a post at the Treasury.

In his short spell in office, he oversaw the publication of the new Road Safety Action Plan – which set out 74 actions being considered by the DfT to reduce road deaths and injuries.

The plan also includes details of a variety of initiatives which have received funding.

Mr Ellis gave evidence to the Transport Committee as part of its ongoing inquiry to explore the problems of pavement parking in England, and consider possible solutions.

He conceded that the issue of pavement parking is complex and controversial – but said the DfT would look at the matter ‘in the coming months’.



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