Anne-Marie Trevelyan was final night time appointed because the U.Okay.’s transport secretary within the first cupboard reshuffle of Prime Minister Liz Truss’s new administration. The previous Secretary of State for Worldwide Commerce tweeted that she was “thrilled” to have been appointed to her new position, including that “transport is essential to our lives.”
Among the many emojis on her tweet, there was a practice, a bicycle, and a spaceship however no pedestrian or bus.
Earlier than coming into parliament in 2015 because the MP for Berwick, Trevelyan was the marketing campaign director for “Twin the A1 Marketing campaign,” a lobbying group she based in 2007.
In 2014, then Prime Minister David Cameron pledged $330m to widen elements of the A1 highway between England and Scotland. Nonetheless, earlier this yr the plan for the highway was halted topic to a brand new choice anticipated in December.
“Having campaigned and burdened to Authorities on the significance of this scheme for over a decade, I’ve no intention of stopping now,” Trevelyan mentioned in March.
A “twin the A1” petition to parliament arrange by Trevelyan in 2012 attracted simply 624 signatures over six months.
In the identical yr, Trevelyan posted a sequence of tweets denying the existence of anthropogenic local weather change. She claimed in June 2012 that there was “clear proof that the ice caps aren’t melting in spite of everything,” decrying local weather scientists as “doom-mongers and world warming fanatics.”
Earlier in 2012, Trevelyan objected to constructing a wind farm, tweeting that “we aren’t getting hotter, world warming isn’t really taking place.”
In line with the U.Okay. authorities, transport produced 27% of the U.Okay.’s whole emissions in 2019. Of this, 91% got here from highway transport automobiles. However, Prime Minister Truss twice pledged to construct new roads in her brief maiden speech as the brand new U.Okay. chief yesterday.
“We have to construct roads, houses, and broadband quicker,” she burdened.
Welcoming Trevelyan to her publish, AA president Edmund King printed an inventory of ten priorities for the brand new transport secretary, none of which included constructing new roads.
In line with King, her first precedence ought to be to “make U.Okay. roads safer” and “enhance rural roads, biking, pedestrian security.”
This name was echoed by the director of marketing campaign group Transport Motion Community Chris Todd, who mentioned:
“We are able to’t construct new roads quick sufficient to maintain forward of demand. We are able to’t even keep the roads we’ve received. We’d like a brand new strategy: one which brings all these strands collectively to enhance selection, our economic system and our high quality of life.”
Amongst Trevelyan’s first duties can be gauging how to reply to two nationwide rail strikes.
Many within the rail trade had been glad to see the elimination of Grant Shapps as transport secretary. He was “dismissive, blind to reality, disinterested, self-serving and manipulative,” tweeted Nigel Harris, editor of Rail journal.
Nonetheless, given Trevelyan’s highway marketing campaign background, she could be as disinterested in rail as Shapps.
Energetic journey campaigners are much less dismissive of Shapps, stating that beneath his watch, funding was boosted for biking and strolling in England. Shapps additionally oversaw the creation of Energetic Journey England, an inspectorate and funding physique led by Chris Boardman, the primary Energetic Journey Commissioner for England.
Talking in entrance of parliament’s transport committee in the present day, Boardman mentioned the “local weather has modified, excuse the pun,” and that “lively journey is a giant a part of a sustainable future.”
Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was a famous proponent of biking and strolling, launching the federal government’s “Gear Change” technique in 2020.
“We wish to see a future the place half of all journeys in cities and cities are cycled or walked,” mentioned the plan, with on a regular basis transportation bicycle owner Johnson promising to “kick off probably the most radical change to our cities because the arrival of mass motoring.”
Trevelyan and Truss possible don’t share Johnson’s enthusiasm for biking. Nonetheless, Truss will pay attention to the significance of security for the nation’s cyclists — her three youthful brothers, Chris, Patrick, and Francis, are long-time biking lovers who go on annual biking holidays.