Short term transport ministers don’t work

24 August 2012

‘When will politicians learn that they need to give a high priority to transport?’ ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan asks. ‘Transport is one of the major national issues for the public, along with health and education – but politicians don’t seem to understand it. Why do they fail to get the message?’

Mick was reacting to reports this morning that Justine Greening is likely to lose her job as Transport Secretary. ‘I have no allegiance to Ms Greening,’ Mick said, ‘but the number of people in the post over the last decade shows that governments don’t give transport the priority it has with the public. By the time ministers get a grip of the brief, they are gone.’

Mick points out that since 2002 the average time in the post has been less than 18 months. Over the last ten years the Transport Secretary post has been held by Alistair Darling, Douglas Alexander, Ruth Kelly, Geoff Noon, Andrew Adonis, Philip Hammond and Justine Greening.

‘It is time transport was given the priority in Westminster that it has in the rest of the country,’ Mick says. ‘Rail needs long-term planning - and it can’t be done with short-term ministers.’

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