I will not fall into the trap of hogging the sessions from the chair
With in-depth knowledge and relevant ministerial experience, I am ready to take the wheel of the Transport Committee, writes Robert Goodwill MP
I was elected to the House for Scarborough and Whitby in 2005, having previously been deputy leader of the Conservative delegation in the European parliament. I had spent five years on the Environment Committee of the European parliament specialising in vehicle emissions and fuel quality. So, for example, I have an in-depth knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the Volkswagen emissions scandal, not only being involved in formulating the rules but later as a minister when the proverbial hit the fan!
Immediately after my election to Westminster, I enjoyed 18 months on the Transport Committee. I joined the shadow transport team in 2007. Policies that I introduced to the manifesto during the years running up to the 2010 general election included effective drug-driving measures and the HGV levy for foreign trucks. These are now on the statute book.
The coalition delayed my arrival at the Department for Transport, but I served from 2013 to 2016 as a minister there. I had responsibility at one time or another for virtually every aspect of the department’s work. My experience as aviation minister for three years stood me in good stead when I moved to the Home Office as minister for immigration with Border Force in my portfolio.
The work of the Transport Committee will be vital as we tackle the two challenges of delivering effective transport solutions and, at the same time, meeting our climate change and air quality targets. This will be particularly important in aviation.
Our rail network is carrying more than twice as many people than when privatised, but too many passengers suffer the misery of delays, cancellations and overcrowding. With Northern and TransPennine serving my own constituency, my inbox leaves me in no doubt about the improvements people expect.
I introduced effective drug-driving measures and the HGV levy for foreign trucks
Consideration of HS2 will be one of the committee’s most urgent priorities with cost overruns and value for money of the project in the news. As a Yorkshire MP, I also understand the frustrations of those in the north who feel they aren’t getting their fair share of infrastructure investment.
Having served on three select committees and given evidence numerous times, I understand how important it is for the committee to work as a team. I will not fall into the trap of hogging the sessions from the chair. I also promise I will not allow ministers to get an easy ride if they fail to answer the questions – indeed I rather relish the poacher-turned-gamekeeper role!
I am one of the few MPs to have a HGV licence, and I used to drive chemical tankers as well as carrying our farm produce. I love classic cars and have a 1900 London to Brighton veteran, as well as two traction engines and a steam waggon.
I hope that colleagues agree that I not only have a wide experience of transport issues, but a passion for the engineering that kept us on the move in the past and will deliver the sustainability we need in the future.
Robert Goodwill is Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby