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Farewell from our Chief Executive

Darren Shirley's picture
Photo: Darren Shirley

Today is my final day as Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, a role I took over just two years ago but which seems like a lot longer given the changes to both the organisation itself and the larger transport world.

For almost 50 years, Campaign for Better Transport has led the call for improvements to the country's transport networks. With notable successes, we have campaigned for transport which is greener, more affordable and easier to use. Now, as the organisation approaches its half century, transport is undergoing a series of transformations. In our cities, towns and rural areas the ways we work, shop and travel are changing rapidly; meanwhile, our understanding of how our travel choices affect our health and environment has never been clearer, along with the need to urgently address transport's impact on both. Added to this, the impact of the current health crisis on the transport sector - not just in the short-term but also in the years to come - remains to be seen but is likely to be substantial.

How Campaign for Better Transport responds to these changes and challenges is paramount in ensuring it continues to influence the crucial decisions currently being made and those that are yet to come. That's why one of my main tasks over the past two years has been to develop a new vision and five-year strategy for the organisation to make it fit for the future.

I am pleased to say that since we launched our new strategy last year, we have already seen the results with the commitment by Government to delivering a National Bus Strategy; the ending of rail franchises; the planned review of the rail fares system; unprecedented support for walking and cycling; and a commitment to a lower carbon transport sector.

Of course there is still work to be done to ensure all communities have access to high quality, sustainable transport that meets their needs, improves quality of life and protects the environment. By continuing to work with partners across society to help solve the transport problems affecting our communities I have every faith that Campaign for Better Transport will be at the forefront of sustainable transport for years to come.