The Windsor Link Railway welcomes two excellent appointments to the Department for Transport.
Susan Kramer, appointed as Transport Minister, brings a wealth of private sector transport experience to her role. She rose to a Vice-President in Citibank and set-up her own company advising on infrastructure project. She’s also taken a keen interest in London transport matters. WLR, as the first privately-led new railway for over 100 years and bringing much benefit to Londoners, as well as the home counties, is very much looking forward to working with her.
She’s joined on the Conservative side by Robert Goodwill, who becomes the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport. He also has experience in transport, previously serving both on the transport select committee and as part of the Conservative shadow transport team. As a farmer by background he will bring a very welcome common-sense approach to the Department.
On the Labour side there has also been a good appointment. According to Labour Party sources, Mary Creagh’s move to shadow transport is a tribute to her campaigning flair during the horsemeat scandal. She should be able to put these skills to good use campaigning for a better deal for hard-pressed commuters, something the lower-cost procurement model of the WLR can help with.
There is some speculation that Maria Eagle was moved because of her vehement support for HS2, meaning that Labour may be preparing to drop its support for this project. WLR’s position is essentially unaffected either way. If HS2 is built then the WLR will both benefit and add value to HS2’s business case by making it accessible to more people in the south without having to go via London. It it’s not built, our proposals still have a very strong business case independently and in future could provide extra capacity and faster journeys to the north via the Chiltern Line, again without having to go via already over-crowded lines in central London.