Grant Shapps

RHS ‘disappointed’ after Grant Shapps approves M25 revamp near popular garden

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has expressed disappointment at Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ decision to approve a major revamp of a motorway junction adjacent to its most popular garden.National Highways has been given the green light to begin a two-and-a-half year £250 million project at Junction 10 of the M25 alongside RHS Wisley, one of the UK’s leading visitor attractions.The RHS has campaigned against the scheme since 2018, claiming the initial proposal “unnecessarily threatens the environment” and “risks the loss of 44 ancient trees” on the boundary of the garden, near Woking in Surrey.Our project to improve M25 junction 10/A3...
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Grant Shapps accuses Sadiq Khan of breaking pre-election rules on Elizabeth line

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has accused Labour’s London mayor Sadiq Khan of breaking pre-election rules over the announcement of when the Elizabeth line will open.The Cabinet minister claimed Mr Khan had displayed “breathtaking political cynicism”.Transport for London (TfL) – which is chaired by Mr Khan – revealed on Wednesday that the capital’s new east-west railway will launch on May 24.The announcement was made a day before local elections take place in London.The Government has poured billions into CrossrailGrant Shapps, Transport SecretaryPurdah rules restrict what communications activity can take place in the run-up to an election.Mr Shapps said: “This announcement is...
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Barrel-scraper Grant Shapps is taking us for a ride

In 2002, I accessed the 3,000-year-old subterranean ceremonial chamber of Pendeen Fogou in north-west Cornwall, by crawling through a 2ft-deep river of liquid cow slurry. Once inside, I was transformed and it was worth it. On Wednesday, I crawled through filth again, as I tried to read the Daily Mail as research for this column. But, unlike my Pendeen Fogou epiphany, the experience provoked only nausea. What a week in British politics it’s been!

Grant Shapps bids to ‘banish the boy racer’ with noise cameras

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps declared he wants to “banish the boy racer” as he announced plans to deploy noise cameras to catch “rowdy drivers”.His department has invited MPs to enter a competition to find the noisiest streets in England and Wales amid concerns about the impact on residents from motorists revving engines and using illegal exhausts.Four areas will be chosen to take part in a £300,000 trial of innovative noise cameras.Police have the power to fine drivers who flout noise rules, but struggle to gather evidence.The cameras can automatically detect when vehicles are breaking legal noise requirements.They will be able...

Grant Shapps pledges to crack down on illegal e-scooter sales

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has promised to “crack down” on illegal e-scooter sales in England. He told MPs on the Commons Transport Committee approved models could be then licensed for use on public roads. New legislation for England could be introduced in the Queen’s Speech on 10 May,...

Grant Shapps pledges to do ‘whatever it takes’ to improve DVLA

The Government will do “whatever it takes” including possible privatisation to improve the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.He made the comment amid huge delays in processing driving licence applications.The Cabinet minister told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee he and Prime Minister will “look at everything”.He said: “We’ll look at whether we can bring in private services to assist.“I’ll look at the different motoring organisations.“We have DVLA and DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).“It’s very confusing for most people.“One does the licensing, the other one does the testing.“People ask why there are two organisations.“I’ll look...

Grant Shapps unveils measure to ease flights chaos

New aviation recruits will be permitted to begin training before passing security checks to ease flight disruption, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.Passengers have faced chaos in recent weeks, with flights cancelled and long queues at airports.British Airways is axing around 100 short-haul flights at Heathrow every day due to staff shortages.Travellers have reported being forced to wait for several hours to pass through security and passport checks at airports such as Birmingham, Manchester and Heathrow.Mr Shapps said he will “look for ways to try to assist” the sector but will not “compromise in any way, shape or form with...

Covid travel restrictions: Grant Shapps admits ‘there were too many changes’

The government made mistakes with its travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic, the transport secretary has conceded. Grant Shapps was speaking to MPs on the Transport Select Committee two days after their report saying some of the rules were “opaque, ambiguous and inconsistent” as well as “disproportionate to the risks to public health” For 19 months from June 2020 to January 2022 the UK imposed more onerous, complex and expensive travel restrictions than any other major European country.On hotel quarantine, the MPs found “no evidence” of any benefit compared with self-isolation at home.They also deplored the frequent changes in rules,...

P&O Ferries ‘should hand back £11m in furlough cash’, says Grant Shapps

P&O Ferries should hand back the money paid by taxpayers for staff furlough during the coronavirus pandemic, the transport secretary has said.On 17 March, the major ferry operator suspended all services and told nearly 800 crew that they were being made redundant and replaced by cheaper agency crew.Appearing before the Transport Select Committee, Grant Shapps said: “There are three things that P&O will need to do to get out of this mess and I call upon them today publicly to get on and do it.“First of all, it’s completely unsustainable to have the head of P&O, the boss Peter Hebblethwaite,...

Grant Shapps refuses to rule out relaxing MOT rules

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has refused to rule out relaxing MOT rules for motorists to ease the UK’s cost of living crisis.Mr Shapps is reportedly considering allowing vehicles to only need an MOT every two years, rather than annually.The tests cost up to £54.85, with repair bills on top.Asked about the issue by the Commons’ Transport Select Committee, Mr Shapps said any changes would need to meet a “very rigorous safety standard”.He went on: “I don’t rule anything out.“If you look at things like MOTs – cars have clearly become a lot more reliable than when the MOT, named after...

P&O urges Grant Shapps to stop asking chief executive to quit

P&O Ferries has urged Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to stop demanding its chief executive resigns over the sacking of nearly 800 seafarers. The Cabinet minister issued his latest plea for Peter Hebblethwaite to quit on Wednesday, claiming “he will have to go”. But the ferry operator said calls...