Jesse Norman MP, Minister of State for the Department for Transport, delivered insightful responses to a raft of inquiries. The discussions predominantly focused on the government’s plans to enhance infrastructure for active travel and promote road safety.
Norman began by detailing the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure for cycling and walking, responding to a question from Ruth Cadbury, Shadow Minister for International Trade. He emphasised the government’s unprecedented £3 billion investment in active travel over the current Parliament, enabling the delivery of top-notch schemes across the nation. He also highlighted the critical role of Active Travel England in ensuring these schemes adhere to established guidelines and maintain high quality.
Cadbury further questioned the government’s commitment to promoting active travel amid claims of funding cuts, despite data demonstrating its societal and environmental benefits. In response, Norman insisted that the government was endeavouring to minimise conflict between drivers and cyclists, underlining the importance of offering people a choice in their mode of travel.
Ranil Jayawardena MP also voiced concerns about the balance between promoting active travel and maintaining freedom for motorists. In response, Norman reiterated the government’s commitment to facilitating choice in travel and respect for local authority decisions.
A key concern raised by Gill Furniss, Shadow Minister for Transport, pertained to road safety. She highlighted the stagnation in progress in this area and the consequent hesitance among people to embrace active travel. Responding, Norman emphasised the government’s seriousness about safety, pointing out the potential revolutionary improvements in safety that could come with the advent of connected and autonomous vehicles.
Gavin Newlands, Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Transport, expressed concern over the allocation of departmental spending for active travel, comparing it to the Scottish Government’s spending in this area. Norman responded by pointing out that funding levels in Scotland, driven by Covid support and the Barnett formula, far exceeded those available in England.
During a recent parliamentary session, Jesse Norman MP, Minister of State for the Department for Transport, asserted that the proposed Heathrow Airport expansion remains a matter for the private sector, and will not be financed by the Department. This came in response to John Martin McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, who raised concerns over escalating costs. Louise Haigh, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, also addressed the issue of the temporary closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport and asked for government intervention. Minister Norman acknowledged the issue and confirmed that it is under review.
In a recent UK parliamentary session, Jesse Norman MP, Minister of State for the Department for Transport, spoke on the subject of decarbonisation within the UK’s transport infrastructure. He outlined that all projects led by the Department’s arm’s length bodies are obliged to carry out comprehensive carbon assessments and set carbon reduction targets. In response to suggestions from Jane Hunt, Conservative MP for Loughborough, Norman agreed to discuss the possibility of using recycled materials in road infrastructure projects with National Highways. When asked about the cost of decarbonising transport, Norman pointed to extensive available public data on potential costs and budgets, including a £6 billion investment for improved charging infrastructure. Lastly, responding to concerns from Shadow Minister for Transport, Mike Kane, Norman confirmed the government’s serious commitment to decarbonisation, including in maritime sectors.