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Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Kramer and Tory MP Robert Goodwill join DfT team

Minister for cycling Norman Baker is to move from the Department for Transport (DfT) to the Home Office following today's ministerial reshuffle. Labour's Maria Eagle has lost her position as shadow transport secretary, being replaced by Mary Creagh - the pair swap roles, with Ms Eagle moving to Ms Creagh's former post as shadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary.

The new shadow transport secretary Ms Creagh is a cyclist, and in May last year hit the headlines when she was 'bumped' from behind by a minicab while riding her bike in London - the vehicle in question being operator by controversial minicab firm Addison Lee, boycotted by cyclists earlier in the year as a result of anti-cyclist comments made by its chairman, John Griffin.

Replacing Mr Baker as the Liberal Democrat minister at the DfT is Baroness Kramer, who as Susan Kramer was MP for Richmond Park from 2005 to 2010, when she lost her seat to the Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith at the general election. She will be minister of state at the department.

Also coming into the DfT as parliamentary under secretary of state - the same level of position Mr Baker held - is Robert Goodwill, the Conservative MP for Scarborough & Whitby.

Yesterday, the other parliamentary secretary of state at the DfT, Conservative MP Simon Burns, resigned so he could contest the vacant position of deputy speaker of the House of Commons.

It's unclear at the moment whether Baroness Kramer will take on Mr Baker's full portfolio including responsibility for cycling, although British Cycling said on Twitter it looks forward to working with her and thanked the outgoing minister for his work.

A former banker, the Liberal Democrat peer remains director of a business she set up with her husband that provides advice on infrastructure projects in Central and Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, former justice minister Helen Grant, who last year met with representatives of British Cycling, CTC and other organisations to discuss the investigation, prosecution and sentencing in road traffic cases where vulnerable road users including cyclists are the victims, becomes the new sports minister.

She replaces Hugh Robertson, and British Cycling said: "We look forward to working with Helen to further Britain's growth as a nation of cyclists."

Today's reshuffle has not extended to Cabinet level jobs, so Patrick McLoughlin remains secretary of state for transport.

Labour Leader Ed Miliband howeverhas overhauled his front bench team, with Maria Eagle, who outlined Labour's support for cycling at the party conference in Brighton last month rbeing replaced by Mary Creagh, the former shadow transport secretary Ms Eagle apparently being moved as a result of her support for HS2.

According to The Times, Ms Creagh wrote to Addison Lee chairman Mr Griffin in the wake of that incident in May last year - she was unhurt - telling him: “I was interested to hear you a few weeks back on Radio 4, saying that your minicabs should be allowed into bus lanes.

“Perhaps you would be interested to hear my experience of one of your drivers today? I was at the junction of Bloomsbury Square and Tottenham Court Road, which is left turn only for vehicles, with an exception to go straight ahead for cycles. The lights changed and the road was blocked by a bus. I was on the right hand side of one of your vehicles and behind a van which could not move because of the bus.

“The lights changed back to red, the van ahead of me curled around the corner but I decided to wait at the red light rather than risk crossing the road as my sight line of any oncoming traffic was obscured. Your driver bumped into the back of my bicycle.

“When I observed that the lights had changed to red some five seconds earlier, he shouted and yelled at me.

“It was the first time I had been bumped in well over ten years. I am a slow, careful cyclist with excellent hand signals and always make eye contact with drivers.

“It was certainly an interesting experience to be barracked for obeying a red stop light when driver mythology has all cyclists down as light-jumping lunatics. Based on today’s experience, your drivers’ reputation for careful driving may be just as much of a myth.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

12 comments

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eurotrash [88 posts] 3 years ago
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lol I like her letter!

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a.jumper [846 posts] 3 years ago
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Now who will stand in the way of Eric Pickles's war on walking and cycling?  2

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iDavid [51 posts] 3 years ago
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Expect Kramer to be rabidly pro helmet compulsion. She used to be a doctor.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 3 years ago
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iDavid wrote:

Expect Kramer to be rabidly pro helmet compulsion. She used to be a doctor.

As an actual, current doctor - there's no reason to be "rabidly pro helmet compulsion", just because you have a medical degree.

Some of us are a bit more considered before we spout opinions.

But do we know if Kramer rides a bike? Or even understands the issues?

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Roger Geffen [58 posts] 3 years ago
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It's more likely that Robert Goodwill MP will be given the cycling / sustainable transport portfolio, although it's also possible that it could be given to Stephen Hammond MP. Susan Kramer's background suggests she is much more likely to be given the rail brief.

See CTC commentary on Norman Baker's departure and the new ministerial team:
https://www.ctc.org.uk/news/norman-baker-replaced-cycling-minister

Roger Geffen
CTC, the national cycling charity

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iDavid [51 posts] 3 years ago
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PJ McNally wrote:
iDavid wrote:

Expect Kramer to be rabidly pro helmet compulsion. She used to be a doctor.

As an actual, current doctor - there's no reason to be "rabidly pro helmet compulsion", just because you have a medical degree.

Some of us are a bit more considered before we spout opinions.

But do we know if Kramer rides a bike? Or even understands the issues?

Maybe I should have said before spouting - Kramer and I had correspondence on this issue when she was my MP, and based on that I stand by my statement.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks Roger, that's good to know. The Cycling Delivery Plan looks promising.

David that's interesting - what did she say? "As transport minister i would make helmets compulsory?"  3

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 3 years ago
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Gutted that Eric Pickles wasn't reshuffled (ideally off the planet).

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Simon_MacMichael [2471 posts] 3 years ago
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cat1commuter wrote:

Gutted that Eric Pickles wasn't reshuffled (ideally off the planet).

I think I prefer him anchored to Earth by gravity, rather than as a Near Space Object; pretty sure he'd make a serious splash if he re-entered the atmosphere  3

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thereverent [432 posts] 3 years ago
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iDavid wrote:
PJ McNally wrote:
iDavid wrote:

Expect Kramer to be rabidly pro helmet compulsion. She used to be a doctor.

As an actual, current doctor - there's no reason to be "rabidly pro helmet compulsion", just because you have a medical degree.

Some of us are a bit more considered before we spout opinions.

But do we know if Kramer rides a bike? Or even understands the issues?

Maybe I should have said before spouting - Kramer and I had correspondence on this issue when she was my MP, and based on that I stand by my statement.

I don't think Kramer has ever been a Doctor. She did PPE at Oxford and worked in the City.

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Kim [242 posts] 3 years ago
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Time for everyone to start writing to their MPs and prospective MPs, to tell them that cycling should be an important part of the country’s transport strategy. Tell them that you want to see active travel as part of their manifesto ahead of the next election, here are a few suggestions for the sort things which should be in their manifestos. Make it clear that their stance on active travel will affect the way you vote.

If we can get enough people to do this, we can get real change. If you don't want change and are happy with the way things are great the way they are, just do nothing. But don't complain unless you have done something to change the situation.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

Edmund Burke

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PhilRuss [391 posts] 3 years ago
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[[[ I hope Susan Kramer is a cyclist....she has the loudest voice I've ever heard.
P.R.