Chris Grayling MP, the former leader of the House of Commons and former justice secretary, has been named as secretary of state for transport. The appointment signals the survival of the Department for Transport (DfT) after new Prime Minister Theresa May led a cabinet reshuffle so wide-ranging that it is probably better described as a government restructure on 14 July.
Unnamed sources have told The Telegraph that the government Department for Transport (DfT) is being shut down. At the same time it appears that the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Energy and Climate Change are also being axed.
The Government is considering reversing a cut in diesel duty in an effort to address air quality concerns. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the London Evening Standard that the former Labour chancellor Gordon Brown had made a mistake when he cut diesel duty by 3p in his 2001 budget. McLoughlin said: “It is something the chancellor will need to look at in due course.”
Existing lab tests designed to ensure emission limits are met have been shown to be inadequate and this is why the UK has secured a tough new Europe-wide ‘real driving emissions’ test. From next year, vehicles will have to meet emissions limits in real driving conditions across a wide range of typical operating temperatures. This will improve consumer confidence in manufacturers. The UK will be working to ensure that the new rules for real driving emissions and type approval are robust, deliver the expected outcomes and that manufacturers behave consistently.
All 37 UK of the cars the government test in the wake of the automotive emissions scandal that began with VW last year exceed laboratory emissions standards in real-world conditions. However none of the vehicles tested in the UK programme showed evidence of defeat devices except VW models.
The UK government published its research into emissions levels from leading diesel car models, fulfilling a commitment to consumers to investigate potential manipulation of emission controls, on 21 April 2016 – just as leading car manufacturers (beginning with Mitsubishi) began making statements about their involvement in the emissions scandal.
The Government has released details of how a £50m pothole fund is to be divided up between English councils. The cash will be split among 118 authorities. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the government wanted to “tackle the blight of potholes”. Devon council is to receive the most cash. The Local Government Association says it will take £12bn to fix the roads.
Every working speed camera on the strategic road network will be yellow within a year, the Government has announced. Ministers ordered a review of speed camera policy on motorways earlier this year and Highways England has today confirmed their plan to increase the visibility of all speed cameras on the network.
The Department for Transport (DfT) announced yesterday that the British government will set up its own inquiry into car emissions and testing. This will be done through the UK regulator Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), which is itself a division of the Department for Transport, and will work with OEMs.
In the wake of the VW scandal, UK Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin is said to be pushing for European level action on car emissions tests. According to BBC News, he said: “We are closely monitoring the situation and have been pushing for action at a European level for more accurate tests that reflect driving on the road. It’s vital that the public has confidence in vehicle emissions tests and I am calling for the European Commission to investigate this issue as a matter of urgency.”
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced that a record £6 billion will be spent on tackling potholes and improving local roads between 2015 and 2021. The announcement was made today (23 December 2014) and the investment amounts to £976 million a year, apparently enough to fix around 18 million potholes across the country.
Patrick McLoughlin said: “Roads play a significant part in everyday life. Poorly maintained local roads, blighted by potholes, are a menace to all road users, particularly during the festive period as people travel to see family and friends. It is vital we have good quality roads. This government has already taken strong action by spending £1 billion more on local roads maintenance than was spent in the previous parliament.
Road safety campaigner and Brityrex 2014 TyreTalk speaker, Frances Molloy has been “encouraged” by the response from tyre industry representatives following a meeting in Westminster. Supported by Liverpool Walton MP, Labour’s Steve Rotheram, Molloy is campaigning for a change in the law on the fitment of aged tyres. Her son, Michael, was killed in a 2012 crash caused by the blowout of a second-hand, 19.5-year old tyre alongside a fellow passenger and the driver of a coach.
Prominent tyre legislation campaigner, Frances Molloy has described the Secretary of State for Transport’s response to the issue of aged tyres in the market as “weak and lacking in leadership”. Molloy is lobbying the government to change the law on the fitment of over-age tyres, and gave a powerful presentation during Brityrex International’s TyreTalk seminar programme in Manchester. Describing the coalition government of being “anti-legislation”, Molloy vowed to maintain her campaign until the government introduces legislation to restrict the fitment of old tyres on Public Service Vehicles.