|Formed||29 May 2002|
|Jurisdiction||Government of the United Kingdom|
|Headquarters||Great Minster House, Horseferry Road, London|
|Annual budget||£2.9 billion; 2019–20|
|This article is part of a series on|
|Politics of the United Kingdom|
The Department for Transport (DfT) is a department of His Majesty's Government responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that have not been devolved. The department is run by the Secretary of State for Transport, currently (since 25 October 2022) Mark Harper.
The expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Transport are scrutinised by the Transport Committee.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2022)
The Ministry of Transport was established by the Ministry of Transport Act 1919 which provided for the transfer to the new ministry of powers and duties of any government department in respect of railways, light railways, tramways, canals and inland waterways, roads, bridges and ferries, and vehicles and traffic thereon, harbours, docks and piers.
In September 1919, all the powers of the Road Board, the Ministry of Health, and the Board of Trade in respect of transport, were transferred to the new ministry. Initially, the department was organised to carry out supervisory, development and executive functions, but the end of railway and canal control by 1921, and the settlement of financial agreements relating to the wartime operations of the railways reduced its role. In 1923, the department was reorganised into three major sections: Secretarial, Finance and Roads.
The ministry's functions were exercised initially throughout the United Kingdom. An Irish Branch was established in 1920, but then was taken over by the government of the Irish Free State on the transfer of functions in 1922.
The department took over transport functions of Scottish departments in the same year, though certain functions relating to local government, loan sanction, byelaws and housing were excepted. In May 1937, power to make provisional orders for harbour, pier and ferry works was transferred to the Secretary of State for Scotland.
The growth of road transport increased the responsibilities of the Ministry, and in the 1930s, and especially with defence preparations preceding the outbreak of war, government responsibilities for all means of transport increased significantly.
Government control of transport and diverse associated matters has been reorganised a number of times in modern history, being the responsibility of:
The name "Ministry of Transport" lives on in the annual MOT test, a test of vehicle safety, roadworthiness, and exhaust emissions, which most vehicles used on public roads in the UK are required to pass annually once they reach three years old (four years for vehicles in Northern Ireland).
The Department for Transport has six strategic objectives:
The department "creates the strategic framework" for transport services, which are delivered through a wide range of public and private sector bodies including its own executive agencies.
The DfT Ministers are as follows:
|The Rt Hon. Mark Harper MP||Secretary of State||Overall responsibility for the department; oversight of all areas|
|The Rt Hon. Jesse Norman MP||Minister of State for Decarbonisation and Technology||Transport decarbonisation; air quality; technology, for example autonomous vehicles, drones, e-scooters; secondary legislation, including retained EU law; space; active travel (cycling and walking); skills, science and research; corporate, including public appointments; accessibility|
|Huw Merriman MP||Minister of State for Rail and HS2||Rail transformation and reform; rail infrastructure; High Speed 2 (HS2); Integrated Rail Plan; Northern Powerhouse Rail; international rail; rail passenger services and freight; accessibility|
|The Rt Hon. Baroness Vere of Norbiton||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Aviation, Maritime and Security||All Lords' business; aviation; maritime; security (including Ukraine); civil contingencies; Kent; international; women's safety; accessibility|
|Richard Holden MP||Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Roads and Local Transport||Roads and motoring, including DVLA, DVSA, VCA; regions and devolution; local transport, including buses, taxis, light rail; union connectivity; haulage; Future of Freight; London (including Crossrail, Transport for London); accessibility (cross-cutting responsibility)|
The Permanent Secretary is Bernadette Kelly.
Following a series of strikes, poor performance, concerns over access for the disabled and commuter protests relating to Govia Thameslink Railway a group of commuters crowdfunded £26,000 to initiate a judicial review into the Department for Transport's management and failure to penalise Govia or remove the management contract. The oral hearing to determine if commuters have standing to bring a judicial review was listed for 29 June 2017 at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The attempted judicial review was not allowed to proceed, and the commuters who brought it had to pay £17,000 in costs to the Department for Transport.
The DfT sponsors the following public bodies:
DfT publications include the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and Transport Analysis Guidance (TAG, formerly WebTAG).
The DfT maintains datasets including the National Trip End Model and traffic counts on major roads.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2010)
The devolution of transport policy varies around the UK; most aspects in Great Britain are decided at Westminster. Key reserved transport matters (i.e., not devolved) are as follows:
Scotland Reserved matters:
Scotland's comparability factor (the proportion of spending in this area devolved to the Scottish Government) was 91.7% for 2021/22.
Northern Ireland Reserved matters:
The department's devolved counterparts in Northern Ireland are:
Northern Ireland's comparability factor (the proportion of spending in this area devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive) was 95.4% for 2021/22.
Wales Reserved matters:
The department's devolved counterpart in Wales is the Minister for Climate Change.
Wales' comparability factor (the proportion of spending in this area devolved to the Welsh Government) was 36.6% for 2021/22.This represents a significant reduction (e.g. it was 80.9% in 2015) due to the controversial classification of HS2 as an 'England and Wales' project.
Transport in the United Kingdom is facilitated with road, air, rail, and water networks. A radial road network totals 29,145 miles (46,904 km) of main roads, 2,173 miles (3,497 km) of motorways and 213,750 miles (344,000 km) of paved roads. The National Rail network of 10,072 route miles (16,116 km) in Great Britain and 189 route miles in Northern Ireland carries over 18,000 passenger and 1,000 freight trains daily. Urban rail networks exist in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Newcastle. There are many regional and international airports, with Heathrow Airport in London being one of the top ten busiest in the world. The UK also has a network of ports which received over 486 million tons of goods in 2019. Transport is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions by the United Kingdom.
Southern is the brand name used by the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) train operating company on the Southern routes of the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise in England. It is a subsidiary of Govia, a joint venture between transport groups Go-Ahead and Keolis, and has operated the South Central rail franchise since August 2001 and the Gatwick Express service since June 2008. When the franchise was subsumed into GTR, Southern was split from Gatwick Express and the two became separate brands, alongside the Thameslink and Great Northern brands.
The Home Office (HO), also known as the Home Department, is a ministerial department of His Majesty's Government, responsible for immigration, security, and law and order. As such, it is responsible for policing in England and Wales, fire and rescue services in England, visas and immigration, and the Security Service (MI5). It is also in charge of government policy on security-related issues such as drugs, counter-terrorism, and ID cards. It was formerly responsible for His Majesty's Prison Service and the National Probation Service, but these have been transferred to the Ministry of Justice.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is a department of His Majesty's Government, with responsibility for culture and sport in England, the building of a digital economy, and some aspects of the media throughout the UK, such as broadcasting and the Internet.
There are effectively two separate mainline railway systems in the United Kingdom – the Great Britain system and the Northern Ireland system, which are regulated and operated separately, and are constituted under separate pieces of United Kingdom legislation.
The Go-Ahead Group plc is a passenger transport company based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Singapore, Norway and Germany. Formerly listed on the London Stock Exchange, in 2022 it was purchased by Kinetic Group and Globalvia.
National Highways, formerly the Highways Agency and later Highways England, is a government-owned company charged with operating, maintaining and improving motorways and major A roads in England. It also sets highways standards used by all four UK administrations, through the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges. Within England, it operates information services through the provision of on-road signage and its Traffic England website, provides traffic officers to deal with incidents on its network, and manages the delivery of improvement schemes to the network.
England has a dense and modern transportation infrastructure. The Department for Transport is the government department responsible for the English transport network. Transport in England is facilitated with road, air, rail, and water networks. A radial road network totals 29,145 miles (46,904 km) of main roads, 2,173 miles (3,497 km) of motorways and 213,750 miles (344,000 km) of paved roads.
The transport system in Scotland is generally well-developed. The Scottish Parliament has control over most elements of transport policy within Scotland, with the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity holding portfolio responsibility within the Scottish Government. Transport Scotland is the Executive Agency responsible for the Scottish transport network.
In the United Kingdom, devolved matters are the areas of public policy where the Parliament of the United Kingdom has devolved its legislative power to the national assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, while reserved matters and excepted matters are the areas where the Parliament retains exclusive power to legislate.
The Department for the Economy is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. The minister with overall responsibility for the department is the Minister for the Economy.
The Department for Infrastructure is a devolved Northern Ireland government department in the Northern Ireland Executive.
The New Approach to Appraisal was the name given to a multi-criteria decision framework used to appraise transport projects and proposals in the United Kingdom. NATA was built on the well established cost–benefit analysis and environmental impact assessment techniques for assessing transport projects and proposals.
Passenger rail franchising in Great Britain is the system of contracting the operation of the passenger services on the railways of Great Britain to private companies, which has been in effect since 1996 and was greatly altered in 2020, with rail franchising being effectively abolished in May 2021.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) was a ministerial department of the United Kingdom Government created on 5 June 2009 by the merger of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). It was disbanded on the creation of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 14 July 2016.
The Ministry of Transport, abbreviated MOT, is a ministry of the Government of Malaysia that is responsible for transport: road transport, civil aviation, marine, road safety, port authority, railway assets, maritime, air accident investigation, logistic, maritime safety, shipping, rail transport, airport, airline.
The Association of British Commuters (ABC) is a UK passenger lobby group for people who commute. It was formed in September 2016 by a group of passengers, disaffected by Govia Thameslink Railway's service on the Southern routes of the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise, after months of delays, cancellations, overcrowded conditions, and strikes.
An operator of last resort is a business in the United Kingdom that operates a railway franchise, on behalf of the government, when a train operating company is no longer able to do so. As of April 2022, there are five such operators in England, Wales and Scotland.
The Transport Committee is charged by the House of Commons with scrutiny of the Department for Transport. Its formal remit is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Transport and its associated public bodies.