You’ll no longer be able to take your driving test from next April with an interpreter or foreign language voiceover (who knew?), according to Robert Goodwill the new roads minister.As debut announcements in post go, it’s unlikely to be a Susan Boyle moment of surprise. Yes, just a year on from welcoming a new ministerial team to the DfT, it’s all change again, with Britain’s latest political talent lining up to try and convince the British public that they’ve got what it takes.

Stephen Hammond, who replaced Mike Penning as roads minister in 2012, remains at the department but he’s moved over to rail, taking on the showbiz train project that is London’s Crossrail. Baroness Kramer (!) is in, while Norman Baker and Simon Burns are gone.

Patrick McLoughlin retains his role leading the DfT as secretary of state for transport. However, despite his commitment to road spending, it’s been hard to gauge how high up his priorities road freight actually is - certainly under the updated areas of responsibility on the DfT’s website it’s not given as one of his four areas of responsibility.


With the government seemingly keen to push the fuel duty issue into the political long-grass until after the general election – and the creep of rail as a focal area for the DfT ministerial team (all four ministers now have some focus on rail as part of their overall responsibilities – is the emphasis sliding away from road transport’s needs?

With the controversy around HS2 showing no sign of dying down, and future UK airport expansion remaining a significant political hot potato, a case could be made following the reshuffle that it’s all about planes, trains (and automobiles) for the coalition at present.