Former minister to discuss future transport challenges at free event

The transport challenges facing the UK will be discussed by a former Government minister during an event at Plymouth University.

The Rt Hon Norman Baker, who served for five years in the Coalition Government, will talk about his time in parliament and in particular his role as Minister for Public Transport.

He will address many of the decisions made during his time in Government, as well as looking forward to some of the transport challenges of the future.

The event on Wednesday 26 October is being organised by Plymouth University and the Chartered Institute for Transport and Logistics, supported by South West Smart Applications Ltd and the University’s Sustainable Earth Institute.

It is part of an ongoing series coordinated by the Sustainable Earth Institute aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge about a range of issues affecting society and the environment across the UK, with previous speakers including Lord Taylor of Goss Moor, the Managing Director of Great Western Railway Mark Hopwood, and author and broadcaster George Monbiot.

Professor Jon Shaw, Head of Geography at Plymouth University, said:

“We’re very much looking forward to hear about Norman’s experiences as a Minister. Successive governments did very little on transport but under the Coalition some real progress was made. There’s still a lot to do, and Ministerial insight on how this might be, or even can be, achieved will prompt many questions about whether we’ll see our fair share of progress here on the Peninsula.”

Norman Baker was the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Lewes in East Sussex from the 1997 General Election until his defeat in 2015.

He served as a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, and Shadow Environment Secretary from 2002 to 2006, before returning to the front bench in December 2007 as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport.

This led to his role as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport within the coalition Government from 2010 to 2013, after which he was appointed to the Home Office as Minister of State, overseeing issues relating to crime prevention.

The Rt Hon Norman Baker said:

“Transport policy is a key means of delivering both economic and environmental objectives for government and indeed society as a whole. But it is important that decisions are based on sound analysis, not lazy assumptions. That is as true today as it was under the Coalition.”

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