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Grant Shapps becomes Secretary of State for Transport

Welwyn Hatfield MP given cabinet post

Grant Shapps at a Boris Johnson campaign rally on 12 June 2019. Screenshot from BBC News

The new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has appointed the Welwyn Hatfield MP, Grant Shapps to the role of Secretary of State for Transport in his new cabinet.

Shapps, pictured above during a Tory leadership event in June, was part of Johnson’s campaign team.

The announcement was confirmed in a tweet sent out by 10 Downing Street at 9.12pm on Wednesday 24 July.
Shapps responded tweeting that he was “Delighted and honoured to have been appointed the new Secretary of State for Transport”

According to the Railway Industry Association chief executive Darren Caplan, speaking to RailNews, there are “plenty of rail issues for Mr Shapps to deal with in the coming months”.

In a quote from the publication Caplan says the new transport secretary leads the Department for Transport at a particularly interesting time for the rail industry.
“There is a record £48 billion of funding available in the next five years, and a number of major projects in the pipeline, including Crossrail, HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, East West Rail, Crossrail 2, Transpennine Route Upgrade, London Underground Deep Tube, and Midlands Rail Hub. And, the industry is continuing to work to increase capacity, improve customer experience and decarbonise and digitalise our rail network, through initiatives like the Rail Sector Deal.
“But the industry also faces challenges ahead. At a time when the Network Rail devolution plan and Williams Rail Review will likely see a radical restructure of the railways, with the rail supply sector’s continuing concerns about “boom and bust” in rail investment, affecting both infrastructure and rolling stock, and a lack of visibility of planned enhancement work, and with the government committing to decarbonise rail, requiring a better approach to electrification.”
The Department for Transport is responsible for the following:

  • providing policy, guidance, and funding to English local authorities to help them run and maintain their road networks, improve passenger and freight travel, and develop new major transport schemes
  • investing in, maintaining and operating around 4,300 miles of the motorway and trunk road network in England through Highways England
  • setting the strategic direction for the rail industry in England and Wales – funding investment in infrastructure through Network Rail, awarding and managing rail franchises, and regulating rail fares
  • improving English bus services through funding and regulation
  • working to make our roads less congested and polluted by promoting lower carbon transport, including cycling and walking
  • encouraging the use of new technology such as smart ticketing and low carbon vehicles
  • maintaining high standards of safety and security in transport
  • supporting the maritime sector by producing the overall strategy and planning policy for ports in England and Wales
  • setting national aviation policy, working with airlines, airports, the Civil Aviation Authority and NATS (the UK’s air traffic service)

Who's who in the new cabinet

The Guardian has published profiles of all those appointed to the new cabinet.

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