Prime minister Liz Truss has formally appointed MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed Anne-Marie Trevelyan as the brand new transport secretary, changing Grant Shapps and placing her in control of main planning selections associated to roads, rails, airports and extra – however what will we find out about her?
Trevelyan entered her put up as MP for Berwick in Could 2015 and has received two additional elections since then. She has been a loyal Conservative all through, remaining firmly behind her occasion on all issues, proper as much as defending Boris Johnson over Partygate.
She has been rewarded for this loyalty with quite a few governmental posts that she has hopped between in the previous few years:
- July 2019 – December 2019: Parliamentary under-secretary for the Ministry of Defence
- December 2019 – February 2020: Minister of state for the armed forces
- February 2020 – September 2020: Secretary of state for worldwide improvement
- January 2021 – September 2021: Minister of state for enterprise, power, and industrial technique (minister for power, clear development and local weather change)
- September 2021: Secretary of state for worldwide commerce
She held the put up of worldwide commerce secretary for a 12 months till being made secretary of state for transport this week.
Right here’s what we find out about her views on transport.
In her new workplace, Trevelyan is nearly sure to grant the event consent order (DCO) for the dualling of the A1 between Morpeth and Ellingham. That is an improve that she has been campaigning for since earlier than turning into an MP, having arrange the Twin the A1 marketing campaign group way back to 2007.
The scheme has been lengthy delayed, proper as much as this 12 months when her predecessor Shapps delayed the scheme twice extra to think about environmental issues and multi-modal choices. These issues appear prone to be steamrolled over by the brand new transport secretary, particularly as the brand new prime minister has additionally promised to ship this improve. Trevelyan is because of announce whether or not she provides the inexperienced gentle to the DCO on or earlier than 5 December.
Nevertheless, in her time as minister within the Division for Enterprise, Power and Industrial Technique, she was centered on clear development and local weather change. This means that she may have the online zero agenda prime of thoughts when contemplating functions. Whereas she has a historical past with the A1 dualling, she doesn’t on different main highway initiatives such because the A303 Stonehenge Tunnel and Decrease Thames Crossing, so she might flip up the scrutiny on these schemes’ inexperienced credentials.
Much less predictable are her emotions on rail. When Shapps entered a movement for the Home of Commons to sentence the rail strikes this summer time, a movement overwhelmingly favoured by Conservatives, she didn’t vote. This may very well be construed as a constructive signal for the continued tug-of-war between the federal government and unions, which had come to an entire stalemate with Shapps in workplace. Both method, a recent begin for these tense conversations might be welcome.
Her voting document associated to Excessive Velocity 2 (HS2) is chequered. Most lately, she didn’t vote on this 12 months’s second studying of the Excessive Velocity Rail (Crewe to Manchester) invoice.
Going again, her first HS2-related vote in parliament was for the third studying of the Excessive Velocity Rail (London to West Midlands) invoice in March 2016. She voted alongside occasion strains to dismiss three recommended clauses to be added: to permit public sector operators, to create an Workplace of the HS2 Adjudicator, and to construct an built-in HS2 / Crossrail 2 station at Euston.
Intriguingly, after voting down these three clauses Trevelyan seemingly then absconded, as she didn’t register a vote on whether or not to move the third studying of the Section 1 invoice.
Within the interim, she did vote positively on each the second and third readings of the Excessive Velocity Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) invoice, which came about in January 2018 and July 2019 respectively.
Nevertheless, she as soon as once more voted alongside occasion strains on the third studying of the invoice to vote down two extra recommended clauses: to hold out an impartial peer assessment into HS2 and to make sure that contractors and subcontractors don’t enter into non-disclosure agreements associated to scheduled work which were licensed to be within the public curiosity.
She has not made any public statements concerning Northern Powerhouse Rail – one thing that Truss pledged to construct. Whereas it is not going to straight have an effect on her constituency in Berwick-upon-Tweed initially, a full high-speed model of the road would improve the potential of extra high-quality connections to that space of the nation sooner or later, so an optimist’s view would say that she is going to come out in assist of constructing the total model of the road that was promised by her predecessors within the put up a number of years in the past.
East West Rail is one other line that hangs within the stability. It’s unclear at this level how conscious she is of the venture’s prices, advantages and arguments towards.
In June 2018, Trevelyan, like most Conservatives, voted in favour of the movement to undertake the brand new Airports Nationwide Coverage Assertion. This primarily gave the inexperienced gentle for Heathrow and Gatwick’s new runways. It stays in place as we speak and is underpinning latest selections by the Planning Inspectorate to overturn native authorities’ planning selections and provides permission for airport expansions.
On condition that the federal government’s lately printed Jet Zero Technique re-affirmed its dedication to “justified” airport expansions, it appears unlikely that Trevelyan might be trying to change course on this subject.
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