Hayes in the House: I’m honoured to take on transport role – by MP John Hayes

John Hayes MP delighted to be Minister State for Transport.
John Hayes MP delighted to be Minister State for Transport.

Appointed Minister of State for Transport last week, I was honoured to be called again to serve in the new Government.

Having been on the Conservative front bench for over 17 years – first in opposition and then in Government - my sense of privilege at having the chance to change people’s lives is undiminished.

All this Ministerial work is exciting, but my role as a constituency MP has always, and always will be, what I value most.

My experience, having now served in the Departments for Education, Business, Energy, Home Affairs and Transport – as well as my time working with David Cameron in Downing Street – has taught me much, in particular that to be effective as a Minister requires two qualities above others; clear vision and strong will. With this in mind, a wealth of knowledge provides a good understanding of how Government works, what it does right and where it needs to improve.

Each Ministerial appointment is particular; as Skills Minister, responsible for apprenticeships and establishing the first all-age careers service, I was able to implement policies formulated over years before gaining office. As Energy Minister I had the opportunity to change the approach to onshore wind turbines, halting their growth and giving local communities a chance to reject unwanted applications - something I had campaigned about long before.

Having served in the Department for Transport previously, I know that decisions about the nation’s roads and railways make a huge difference to personal and communal wellbeing. Where people go and how they get there shapes opportunities as it defines what we do. So, Government action - be it new road investment, repairing potholes, or reducing air and noise pollution - must continue to be a response to popular will. Proactively, Government must be bold about delivering major infrastructure projects – too often it’s too easy just to deal with the day to day issues and pay insufficient attention to future needs.

Along with responsibility for the nation’s motorways and major roads, freight and shipping I will also be leading Government thinking on the innovative, remarkable new technology used in driverless vehicles and electric cars. Whilst some of this may 
seem tantalisingly futuristic, the benefits to our economy in years ahead could be huge - we must broaden our thinking about the ways in which people get to where they want or must go.

All this Ministerial work is exciting, but my role as a constituency MP has always, and always will be, what I value most.