RAC calls on new Transport Secretary to prioritise motorists

RAC calls on new Transport Secretary to prioritise motorists
Calls have been made for the Government’s new Secretary of State for Transport to continue championing the needs of the country’s motorists.

MP Chris Grayling was awarded the top job at the Department for Transport (DfT) in the Cabinet shake-up launched by Theresa May following her appointment as Prime Minister.

The RAC has now urged Mr Grayling to remain on motorists’ side by continuing to invest in the strategic road network and maintaining the freeze on fuel duty.

It will also be important for the new Transport Secretary to ensure the Road Investment Strategy is implemented in full, with pledges kept on the continuation of funding beyond 2020.

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This will play a crucial role in ensuring that current record low traffic levels are maintained and that gridlock is avoided.

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In addition, the RAC is appealing to Mr Grayling to solve the country’s persistent pothole problem by finding a long-term funding solution with Philip Hammond, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The RAC highlighted a 24% year-on-year rise in pothole-related call-outs, meaning that resolving the issue should be the number-one priority.

There will also have to be decisions regarding clean air zones and improving road safety, the RAC said.

Commenting on Mr Grayling’s post, the RAC’s public affairs officer, Nick Lyes, said: “Given the important part Britain’s 38 million motorists play in the country’s economic health, prioritising their needs is absolutely essential.”

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Mr Grayling, the MP for Epsom and Ewell, comes to the DfT from his position as Leader of the House of Commons, a post he had held since the 2015 general election.

He also served as shadow Transport Secretary between 2005 and 2007 when the Conservative Party was in opposition to the Labour government.

Prior to his latest appointment, it had been reported that the DfT would be axed in favour of a Department for Infrastructure and Industry embracing several other government offices.

But the announcement concerning Mr Grayling, who was a supporter of Mrs May’s bid for the Conservative Party leadership, quashed these rumours.

It is thought that the introduction of autonomous vehicles to the UK and carrying through big infrastructure projects will form part of his initial brief.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.