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Transport Secretary questioned on work of the Department

5 December 2022

The Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper and his department’s permanent secretaries will face questions from the Transport Committee.

Witnesses

Wednesday 7 December 2020, Grimond Room , Portcullis House

At 9.30am

  • Rt Hon Mark Harper MP, Secretary of State for Transport
  • Dame Bernadette Kelly DCB, Permanent Secretary at Department for Transport
  • Gareth Davies CB, Second Permanent Secretary at Department for Transport

MPs will question Mr Harper, who took up his post in late October, on a range of issues relating to the Department for Transport’s work, his priorities as Secretary of State, and the Committee’s inquiries.

Topical issues the Committee will raise include service cancellations by Northern Trains, Avanti West Coast and TransPennine Express, as well as Network Rail’s planned engineering works on several major London routes over the Christmas holidays.

Mr Harper will be asked to explain the recent Budget announcement that electric vehicles will be subject to vehicle excise duty from 2025.

The cross-party Committee may also seek answers on the Department’s potentially crowded legislative agenda before the next general election. That’s because new primary legislation or updates to regulations are being called for regarding the spread of e-scooters and the likely introduction of self-driving cars and commercial vehicles.

Many UK local authorities continue to run pilot e-scooter rental schemes, some of which started in July 2020. It remains illegal to ride a private e-scooter on public roads.

The Government’s plans to establish Great British Railways will be examined by MPs. Last year ministers promised that the new public body, split into regional divisions, would take over from Network Rail and be responsible for setting ticket prices, but this too may require new legislation.

There may also be questions regarding ministers’ role in negotiating with trade unions and rail operators over forthcoming industrial action in mid-December and early January.

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright