Robert Goodwill confirmed as new minister for cycling

Minister says cycling "a big passion" - so are steam engines... and Segways, it appears

by Simon_MacMichael   October 15, 2013  

Palace Of Westminster At Night © Andrew Dunn.jpg

Robert Goodwill, who moved to the Department for Transport in last week’s ministerial reshuffle, has been confirmed as the minister responsible for cycling, replacing Norman Baker, who has gone to the Home Office.

As parliamentary under-secretary of state for transport, Mr Goodwill, who is the Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby, will also be responsible for road safety and standards, local roads and freight and logistics, among other things.

Speaking of his new role to The Scarborough News last week, the 56-year-old said: “I am delighted to have cycling… it’s a big passion of mine as people know."

The former MEP owns a 250-acre farm. He is a steam engine enthusiast, and patron of the National Traction Engine Trust.

In 2008, as shadow roads minister, he lobbied for a ban on Segways on British roads to be overturned, telling Parliament: "We would like a limited trial to see lessons can be learned.

"They look like they shouldn't stay up, but you might think the same thing if you hadn't seen a bicycle before and looked at one for the first time.

Prior to the 2010 general election, he was tasked by then leader of the opposition David Cameron with cutting £6 million from the Whitehall budget through reducing use of ministerial cars if the Conservatives came to power.

At the time, he said: “Unless they have a good reason – such as carrying lots of ministerial boxes or security – we will expect Tory Ministers to consider using bicycles to get around Westminster and Whitehall. Ministers can always put their paperwork in a backpack."

But any thoughts that Whitehall and Parliament Square would play host to a peloton of ministers shuttling back and forth between Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster proved to be wishful thinking.

However, Mr Goodwill’s predecessor at the DfT, Mr Baker, preferred using what he termed a “ministerial bike” rather than a car for short trips between government departments and it will be hoped that the new minister, also said to own a folding bike, will follow suit.

3 user comments

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Little more than a Goodwill gesture.

KABOOM

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1019 posts]
15th October 2013 - 17:38

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Heard it all before, still seeing no change, same old.

posted by northstar [1083 posts]
15th October 2013 - 17:47

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Surely better than that farcical blob of Norman baker?

posted by georgee [137 posts]
15th October 2013 - 20:01

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