Three women from the transport industry have been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Lesley O’Brien (pictured), partner at Freightlink Europe, has received an OBE for services to diversity and inclusion.

O’Brien has been recognised for being the driving force behind the creation of She’s RHA, which engages not only with women but also other minority and less privileged groups.

In January this year O’Brien also launched Freight People, a monthly forum for the transport community which offers expert presentations on an industry hot topic and a space to share common issues and best practice.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, O’Brien has ensured that the group has continued to thrive via regular Zoom meetings and seminars.

O’Brien said: “I feel truly humbled and honoured. It is an amazing privilege. Thank you to the Road Haulage Association for deeming me worthy and to those who have supported me on my transport journey – too numerous to mention. You are truly appreciated. To all the She’s RHA ladies, my amazing Freight People colleagues and my fabulous team at Freightlink Europe, let's continue to promote our industry, to fly the flag for diversity and inclusion and compliance, to encourage, support and be allies to colleagues and those less privileged than ourselves and to change the perception and culture of our industry.”

Nikki King OBE, former chief executive of Isuzu Truck (UK) and now chair of the Skills for Life Trust and Honorary Chair of ITUK has been awarded a CBE for services to education.

King set up Isuzu Truck (UK) in 1996. Under her leadership the company achieved a £35m turnover and also pioneered flexible working, aimed at retaining female staff who represented 50% of her management team.

In 2013 King sold the business to IMJ and retired from the commercial motor industry, turning her attention to the education sector. In 2014 she was appointed chair of the Skills For Life Trust, comprising five academies in Kent.

King said: “I spent my entire career in the road transport industry and I still have many friends and contacts in the sector who want to engage with the young people who will become the industry’s future. At all of our academies in the Skills for Life Trust, whether primary or secondary schools, it’s our vision to educate and develop our pupils into fully rounded people and help to prepare them for the adults they will become.

“There are so many career opportunities in the road transport industry and they are desperate to inspire the next generation and encourage more youngsters to choose it as a career. I know we can provide many opportunities for students, not only at the Skills for Life Trust but throughout the country where such skills are badly needed.

“I know the industry has worked very hard to encourage young people to consider logistics as a career choice. It was only when I joined the world of education that I realised what had to be done and would be happy to share this knowledge should this be of assistance.”

Allison Kemp, MD of Derbyshire-based training company AIM Commercial Services, has also been honoured with an MBE for services to transport and logistics.

Kemp, who frequently chairs the Logistics UK regional meetings and attends the Logistics UK National Council, is also a fellow of the Institute of Couriers and was gowned in the House of Lords in February 2015. More recently she was awarded the 2019 Woman of the Year at the 2019 Everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards.