FTA at the Liberal Democrat Conference 2011

FTA’s fringe event in Birmingham

“The battle for transport priorities: Balancing affordable fuel, the deficit and the environment”

Transport is central to the economy. It is vital for getting goods and people to shops and workplaces, and it represents a key battleground in the fight against climate change. The current Government faces what can, at times, appear a difficult balancing act when setting its top transport priorities:

  • to act in a way that helps the poorest in society, who are the first to suffer when petrol and diesel prices rise
  • to act in a way that helps business by allowing commerce and, through it, the economy to grow, or
  • to focus attention first and foremost on reducing emissions from transport, to tackle the immediate threat of climate change

Date and venue

Join FTA and our eclectic and experienced panel as we seek to answer two key questions: do these goals really need to be seen as mutually exclusive, and how can the Government solve the challenges presented by all three?

Date: Monday 19 September
Venue: Suite 110, Jurys Inn, Birmingham. This is a public meeting and anyone can attend.


  • James Hookham (FTA, Chair)
  • Caroline Pidgeon AM (Chair, GLA Transport Committee)
  • Quentin Willson (Motoring Journalist, Spokesman Fair Fuel UK campaign)
  • John Morris (Birmingham Chamber of Commerce)
  • Phil Lipman (Sustrans)

FTA engaging with the Liberal Democrats

In addition to the FTA fringe event, FTA will also be on the panel at three other events in Jurys Inn during the Lib Dem conference. The flagship debate of the Transport Hub, entitled "THE BIG TRANSPORT DEBATE: How Loud is the Lib Dem Voice in the Coalition?" will see FTA's James Hookham alongside Transport Minister Norman Baker MP discussing how the Lib Dems have influenced the coalition, and what focus we can expect from the Government in the next 12 months. In addition, FTA's Karen Dee will be chairing an event held by Kapsch TrafficCom on the link between driving and economic health, while Head of Public Affairs Michael Webb will be appearing at an ACT TravelWise event on the future of sustainable transport.

Alongside panel events, FTA has a series of meetings with prominent Liberal Democrat politicians, including

  • Lord Teverson
  • Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West
  • Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge

These events are a key opportunity for FTA to discuss the important issues for logistics with people in a position to make changes. In some cases these are longstanding friends of logistics, and names that regular readers of Freight Magazine may well recognise. However, it is just as important to build new alliances on key issues, so finding new MPs and Peers of a like mind to FTA is a key focus at party conference season.

It will be an intense three days of campaigning activity, but one that will help FTA get on the front foot on the key issues that will be concerning our membership over the coming year.