Had lunch with the Minister of State for Transport, Theresa Villiers, yesterday and we discussed a number of topics: air travel, high speed trains, land-use planning to name a few.
As with all things the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but on the face of it she was very mindful of the need to build a transport system in a sustainable way.
She wanted to assure me that the coalition’s National Planning Policy Framework would address the concerns put forward by environmentalists and conservancy bodies in the many ways that “sustainable development” – the key phrase in the document – could be interpreted.
As a barrister she understood the turmoil that could ensue if sixty years of planning law was overturned in one act of parliament.
She was naturally circumspect but seemed to me to be on top of her brief regarding rail and the many problems that we face in that sector.