The Railway Industry Association has welcomed the appointment of Wendy Morton as a new transport minister, and paid tribute to outgoing rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris on his appointment as minister of state for Europe.
The latest ministerial reshuffle follows the resignation of Brexit secretary Lord Frost at the weekend. Foreign secretary Liz Truss has taken over ministerial responsibility for the UK’s relationship with the European Union with immediate effect, becoming lead negotiator with the EU on the Northern Ireland protocol.
Heaton-Harris becomes minister of state for Europe and will deputise for the foreign secretary as necessary on EU exit and the protocol.
Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “On behalf of RIA, our members and the wider rail supply community, I’d like to welcome Wendy Morton as a new minister at the department for transport. We look forward to working with Ms Morton, with her new role at the DfT, at this pivotal time for UK rail.
"2022 will be a particularly important year, with the railway industry continuing to support the UK during the Coronavirus pandemic, the sector undergoing a major restructure to the new Great British Railways model, and as we deliver major improvements to the network, including HS2, Transpennine Route Upgrade, Midlands Rail Hub, and the decarbonisation and digitalisation of the network.
“I would also like to say thank you to outgoing rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris. There are few rail ministers who have had to deal with such a crisis as Covid, but during the past 18 months Mr Heaton-Harris really has worked tirelessly with the rail supply sector, to both ensure services kept running and to enable work to continue on renewing and enhancing railway infrastructure and rolling stock at a time when many other sectors could not function, through no fault of their own.
“We wish him the very best of luck in his new role, and look forward to working with him on rail issues in future, in his role as MP for Daventry.”