Grant Shapps says he is honoured to retain the role of transport secretary – after overseeing a busy few weeks at the DfT.
There were a number of ministerial casualties yesterday (13 Feb), as prime minister Boris Johnson carried out his first cabinet reshuffle since December’s General Election victory.
However, Grant Shapps wasn’t among that list – and retains the top job at the DfT, a position he has held since July 2019.
Taking on Twitter, Mr Shapps said he was honoured to stay in post – pledging to ‘level up Britain’ by better connecting communities.
Honoured to be back as Secretary of State for Transport. In a government working hard to level up Britain, connecting communities means everything! ✈️
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) February 13, 2020
Mr Shapps has been a busy man over the last month, with big announcements on issues such as smart motorways, electric vehicles and cycling.
Speaking to the BBC’s Panorama programme in January, Mr Shapps confirmed the Government’s smart motorway review – expected imminently – would spell the end for dynamic smart motorways, where the hard shoulder is opened to traffic during busy periods, but closed at other times.
On 4 February, the DfT announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035.
In July 2017, the Government pledged to end the sale of conventional new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040.
However, the revised plans bring forward the ban to 2035 – while also extending the legislation to cover hybrid vehicles.
Earlier this week, the DfT set out its long-term commitment to cycling, with a new multi-billion pound vision to make everyday journeys ‘easier, greener and more convenient’.
In a statement to Parliament on 11 February, £5bn of new funding to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London was announced.
The funding will be used to create 250 miles of ‘high-quality separated cycle routes’ – built to ‘tough new design standards’ – while there is also a focus on improving safety at junctions.
Dozens of new ‘Mini-Holland’ schemes will be taken forward, in a bid to ‘transform town centres’ and make side streets ‘safer to walk, cycle and play in’.
Meanwhile, bus services across the country will be transformed with ‘simpler fares, thousands of new buses, improved routes and higher frequencies’.