The Chief Executive of The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT), Steve Agg, chaired a Question Time type transport event at last week’s Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. Members of the panel included Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond; together with Philip Gomm from the RAC Foundation, Stephen Alambritis from the Federation of Small Businesses and Simon Moppett, from the Conservative Transport Group.
Hammond delivered some key messages on a wide range of transport issues from aviation to HS2.
On aviation he warned of the need to embrace an environment friendly agenda. He said: ‘Aviation should come in from the cold. It’s got to get greener. I’m not anti-aviation, in the same way that I am not anti-motorist. But aviation has to bear its costs.’
On rail freight, Hammond revealed himself as a strong supporter of night time rail freight movement. He wants to encourage more night time usage for freight whilst leaving capacity on the congested network for passengers during the day.
Hammond also discussed the Government’s plans for high-speed rail. Discussing the plans for an intermediate station at Old Oak Common, where parking provision would be available, he said ‘Connectivity is critically important’ and looked forward to an increase in electronic ticketing which will provide more flexibility.
Steve Agg said: ‘This was a very worthwhile event which CILT was delighted to be involved in. With transport facing a difficult future with insufficient central investment being available, it was interesting and helpful to get an insight into some of the thinking of the new Secretary of State. I hope that we can participate in similar events in the future.’
The Transport Hub fringe event was one of a series of conference events organised by the Freight Transport Association.