Posted 11th May 2015 | 1 Comment

New Whitehall transport team to be named

THE Prime Minister is poised to announce the names of the ministers who will be taking charge at the Department for Transport. Most of the present team have not been included in the list of resignations following the General Election, with one exception.

The one known departure is that of Baroness Kramer, who is standing down from her post as Minister of State at the DfT.

Transport secretary Conservative Patrick McLoughlin has been in his post since the autumn of 2012, when he inherited the crisis at his department caused by the collapse of the Intercity West Coast franchise competition.

His ministerial colleagues are also Conservatives, and are not therefore affected by the wholesale loss of Liberal Democrat seats and the ending of the pre-election coalition, which has resulted in the resignation of all Liberal Democrat ministers.

Meanwhile, the controversial issue of HS2 does not seem to have greatly affected the election result. The two parties who wanted the scheme scrapped were the Green Party and UKIP, and both parties won just one seat each.

The Conservatives are wholly in favour but their candidates scored a clean sheet in the sensitive constituencies where the High Speed Line could have been a local issue, particularly the Chilterns and parts of the Midlands, including Warwickshire.

Labour's failure to gain power also implies that major changes to the way the railways are run are unlikely. Labour had wanted a public sector bidder to compete for passenger franchises, and was also planning to set up a new 'national body' to supervise the industry.

The future of Network Rail is also unclear. The pre-election period was notable for reports and rumours that another change to its status was being considered behind the scenes in Whitehall, but Network Rail has dismissed these stories.

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  • claydon william, Norwich, Norfolk

    ....." Labour had wanted a public sector bidder to compete for passenger franchises ".......

    Note to the Labour party......

    We already have public sector operators involved in UK rail operations, they are called the governments of France, Germany and The Netherlands.........