Following his appointment as transport minister Robert Goodwill MP made one of his first public appearances at last night's Retail Motor Industry Federation annual dinner at the plush Dorchester in London's Park lane. The car and truck dealers gave the affable Tory MP for Scarborough and Whitby a warm enough welcome, politely cheering two seemingly opposite policies.

Goodwill commended the Lorry Road User Charging scheme introduced by his predecessor - which will see foreign trucks pay £10 a day to use UK roads - while announcing he had relaxed cabotage restrictions on foreign car transporters to cope with the autumn peak in new car sales. Clearly the assembled dealers don't mind paying an extra tenner a day to get their shiny new cars delivered by foreign registered vehicles, which does rather pose the question of how effective the LRUC will really be in levelling the playing field between UK and foreign operators.

Goodwill, a farmer who likes to mention that he drives an old Volvo F10 whenever possible, managed to drop this fact into his speech by pledging to do something about false and exaggerated insurance claims, which he said added £90 to every motorist's annual premium. He confessed to knocking off his wing mirror while reversing, which resulted in a call from one of those odious companies who specialise in inflating trivial claims. The sooner these people are stamped out the better - but surely the only source for tip offs about such minor accidents is the insurance company who will ultimately have to pay the claim, which makes no sense at all.

Sadly Goodwill seems to have been infected with the fervour for rail currently gripping the DfT and slipped into the trap of pledging to get freight off the roads and onto rails "to reduce congestion for car drivers". As Tony Pain, the recently retired marketing guru at Daf, correctly points out, trucks suffer from congestion but do not cause it. Let's hope Goodwill learns that lesson quickly.

Finally, he apologised for being "three years late" arriving at the DfT, having languished in the Whips' office since the Coalition Government came to power in 2010. "Coalition congestion prevented my arrival," he quipped. Which is interesting as his two predecessors as roads and freight minister - Mike Penning and Stephen Hammond - were both Tories too, so you can hardly blame the LibDems for blocking Goodwill's path to power.