• DfT creates second permanent secretary role


    The Department for Transport (DfT) is creating a second permanent secretary role, worth around £160,000 a year.

    The role would be 'directly responsible for around a third of the department’s staff' - roughly 1,200 people.

    As part of the position, the successful candidate will 'provide strategic leadership in a range of high profile aspects of the Department’s work' including the decarbonisation agenda.

    Advertising the role, the Government said the new role 'will be multi-modal and cross-cutting; driving each transport mode to deliver a decarbonisation agenda that is embedded in all aspects of transport'.

    'The role brings a single point of leadership in DfT for other cross-cutting themes, including union connectivity, levelling up, technology and innovation and building global impact.

    'The Second Permanent will also lead the Department’s work on aviation, maritime and security and resilience.'

    In her foreword to the application pack, DfT permanent secretary Bernadette Kelly, who took the job in 2017, noted the challenges of post-COVID recovery and decarbonisation.

    She also stressed that transport is 'at the heart of the Government’s ambitions for levelling up'.

    'Transport can play a critical role in transforming economic geography and is also a vital lifeline for people and communities, connecting them to education, jobs and opportunity,' she said.

    'This is also a sector which is being revolutionised by emerging technologies and business models. In DfT we will play a key part in shaping that future in a way which benefits society, the economy and the environment.

    'I am looking for a Second Permanent Secretary who can help to drive our agenda and build our capability in these areas. She or he will also help to lead our work on aviation, maritime, security, international transport, science and analysis. The role will include ensuring the Department responds effectively to major disruption to the transport network and working with the leaders across aviation and maritime to support their recovery post-pandemic. '


    Channel: Transportation


  • ADEPT Autumn Conference to focus on collaboration, climate and COVID


    The ADEPT Autumn Conference this year on 18 and 19 November 2021 will focus on 'collaboration, climate and COVID recovery', and features an impressive speaker line-up from a range of department areas.

    Taking place at the Apex City of Bath Hotel, the conference is based around a series of plenary and workshop sessions and, as well as talks from senior figures in ADEPT such as president Paula Hewitt, the conference will also feature big names such as:

    • Tom Walker, director of the new Levelling Up Unit at the Cabinet Office;
    • Natalie Prosser, CEO of the Office for Environmental Protection
    • Simon Gallagher, Director of Planning at MHCLG.

    Also speaking is Sir Michael Marmot, Institute of Health Equity, who will discuss how we can 'build back fairer and the COVID-19 Marmot Review' and Baroness Brown of Cambridge will discuss the role of local government in delivering the net zero strategy.

    Mark Kemp, first vice president and chair of ADEPT's Transport and Connectivity Board, said: 'We are looking forward to welcoming people to our conference which has a fascinating programme focusing on how we go beyond the initial recovery from the pandemic and develop places that are truly fit for the future. ADEPT members are facing challenges on many fronts.

    'What does "levelling up "mean and how do we encourage economic growth whilst embracing the sustainability agenda and delivering on many councils' commitments to be net carbon neutral well before the 2050 target date from Government?

    'How do we create places that deliver and support a healthier and happier community and how are we embracing innovation in place services to support all these ambitions?

    'This is a really exciting time for ADEPT members as we are at the forefront of delivering against all these ambitions. The conference will give us a chance to take stock and to celebrate what we are achieving.'

    In a statement, ADEPT added: 'Recovery and climate change will dominate our thinking and determine the future of place for years to come. As we all know too well, transformative and longer-term funding is key, but we also need to collaborate more extensively, more meaningfully and more effectively if we are to meet these challenges.

    'The ADEPT Autumn Conference 2021 will give us time to reflect on these complex and interrelated issues, share experiences and listen to exciting speakers with fresh ideas for shaping the future.

    'Place directors and their strategic partners have a key role in driving and supporting recovery and renewal. It feels like this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-set the world we live in and to build back better and greener.'

    You can see the full programme here and book a place here.


    Channel: Infrastructure


  • England's Economic Heartland elects new chair and vice chair


    Central Bedfordshire leader Richard Wenham has been elected as the new chair of England’s Economic Heartland (EEH) sub-national transport body.

    And the leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Cllr Liz Leffman, was elected vice-chair.

    Picture: Cllr Wenham and below Cllr Leffman 

    EEH is one of seven sub-national transport bodies covering the entirety of England outside of London though only Transport for the North has statutory status.

    Jointly funded by its local transport authority members and the Department for Transport, EEH covers an area ranging from Oxfordshire and Swindon across to Cambridgeshire, and Northamptonshire down to Hertfordshire.

    The election of Cllr Wenham and Cllr Leffman followed the strengthening of EEH’s governance structure, which saw the previous two political-level meetings – the Strategic Transport Forum and EEH Leaders Group – consolidated into the single Board meeting.

    Cllr Wenham paid tribute to the achievements of his predecessors in spearheading EEH’s development: chair of the EEH Leaders’ group, Cllr Martin Tett, who is leader of Buckinghamshire Council, and chair of EEH's strategic transport forum mayor Dave Hodgson of Bedford Borough Council.

    Cllr Wenham said: 'Cllr Tett and Mayor Dave have laid excellent foundations for what is an exciting future for England’s Economic Heartland. We are now turning the policies in our transport strategy into actions that will unlock opportunities for our residents and businesses while decarbonising the transport system.

    'Our region is home to world-leading innovation in science and technology, and a unique natural and historic environment. However, issues with our transport system – which cut across council boundaries – are holding it back. That’s why EEH is so important: by collaborating on issues of common interest and speaking with one voice on the region’s priorities, we can secure the transport infrastructure required to enable significant levels of planned economic and housing growth.'

    EEH helps advise government on the investment and projects required to deliver strategic transport infrastructure priorities that can support economic growth in the region.

    It submitted its regional transport strategy to the transport secretary in February 2021.

    Cllr Wenham said: 'The prominence of sub-national transport bodies is increasing across the country. We have a key role to play in shaping the work of both National Highways and Network Rail. While we are a standalone body, we work closely with partnerships across the region, including the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.'


    Channel: Infrastructure


  • Davies brings passion to SWARCO EV charging


    SWARCO Smart Charging has appointed Tom Davies as strategic business development manager and has linked up with Solihull Council to help expand the borough’s EV charging network.

    Mr Davies’ primary remit will be the workplace charging sector, as well as account managing SWARCO’s work with the major Government departments and key clients in Greater Manchester.

    The firm said he has two and a half years’ experience in the EV charging industry and is already familiar with its EV charging technology.

    Mr Davies (pictured) said: ‘Not only do I enjoy selling SWARCO’s products, but I am also an avid user, I believe the user experience is the best on the market.

    ‘My goal is to help drive the UK to an electric future. I am passionate about transport and its significant role in global warming and climate change.

    'This motivates me every day to help SWARCO capitalise on the transition to electric charging.’

    SWARCO Smart Charging managing director Justin Meyer said: ‘Tom has a true passion for the industry and will play a key role as we continue to grow and offer hardware and software solutions to facilitate the uptake of Electric Vehicles across the UK.’

    Earlier this week, it was announced that Solihull Council has partnered with SWARCO to help expand its charging network.

    In the most recent wave of expansion, 23 SWARCO charge points have been installed to provide EV charging at 56 public parking bays across the borough.

    Mr Meyer said: ‘We are pleased to work with councils like Solihull who are committed to delivering reliable, convenient and affordable charging.

    ‘We hope the growing number of charging options across Solihull will give more and more people the confidence to choose electric and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.’


    Channel: Highways


  • New CIHT president Sims to lead by example


    The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) has announced the election of Deborah Sims as its president for 2021/22.

    Ms Sims is a senior lecturer in the School of Engineering at the University of Greenwich, and a chartered engineer with over 25 years of experience in road safety engineering, highway design, asset management and maintenance.


    The theme for her presidential year is ‘Route to Professionalism’ and the CIHT said that during the next 12 months it ‘will highlight just what it means to be a professional and the benefits of embracing continual improvement and enhanced professional ethics’.

    Ms Sims outlined her theme and plans for the year via an online video address at CIHT’s Presidential Inauguration event on Wednesday (22 June).

    She said: ‘It is a great personal honour to be elected as President of CIHT, and the last 12 months have shown how important it is to be part of an active community. As a professional body we have a unique responsibility for the development of our members and the reputation of our sector.

    ‘Today marks International Women in Engineering Day and we must do more to encourage children and young people to think about careers in engineering, highway engineering, and transport. To me it is particularly important that girls and young women consider these careers.

    ‘Careers in highways and transportation are varied, exciting and interesting. To develop solutions which fully meet the needs of the people we serve, we need full representation in our industry from men, women and indeed all sectors of the community.’

    The CIHT said Ms Sims, who is a STEM Ambassador, will focus on supporting its core business over the next few months, which will see many new activities and initiatives emerge including a call for more professionals to sign up as STEM ambassadors and increased support for CIHT members’ professional development.


    Channel: Transportation

    keywords: Transport Planning