The Transport Safety Commission

About the Commission

Commission Co-chairs

Peter Bottomley internet image

Sir Peter Bottomley – Member of Parliament for Worthing West (Conservative)


Professor Stephen Glaister CBE – Director RAC Foundation

Commission Members

Sir Peter Bottomley MP Member of Parliament for Worthing West (Conservative) House of Commons Co-Chair
Professor Stephen Glaister CBE Director RAC Foundation Co-Chair
John Abbott Director of National Programmes Rail Safety & Standards Board (RSSB)
Professor Richard Allsop OBE Emeritus Professor Transport Studies University College London (UCL)
Jeanne Breen OBE Principal Jeanne Breen Consulting
Nicola Christie Director of the Centre for Transport Studies University College London (UCL)
Kate Carpenter Divisional Director (Traffic and Safety) Jacobs /The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation
Suzette Davenport Chief Constable Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)
Dr Rob Hunter Head of Flight Safety British Air-Line Pilots Association (BALPA)
Dr Julian Huppert MP Member of Parliament for Cambridge (Liberal Democrat) House of Commons
Professor Mike Kelly Director of the Centre for Public Health National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Keith Conradi Chief Investigator Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB)
Dr David Pencheon Director Sustainable Development Unit, NHS England and Public Health England
Barry Sheerman MP Member of Parliament for Huddersfield (Labour/Co-operative) House of Commons
Jason Torrance Policy Director Sustrans
Ben Johnson Senior Delivery Planning Manager, Road Safety Transport for London (TfL)

The Commission

The role of the Transport Safety Commission is to inquire into transport safety matters in order to assist with the development of policies that will reduce risk and bring about continued reduction in transport-related casualties. The Commission is an independent body with 16 members drawn from the UK Parliament and from the air, rail and road safety professions and related sectors. It is co-chaired by Sir Peter Bottomley MP and Professor Stephen Glaister. The inquiry had been made possible by generous donations from the Safer Roads Foundation and the Rees Jeffrey’s Road Fund. PACTS provides the secretariat.

Background to the Commission

In October 2008, the House of Commons Transport Select Committee called for the establishment of ‘an authoritative and independent road safety commission’ [Report HC 460, para 132]. The Government did not take up the recommendation. PACTS is pleased to do now so.

Announcing the establishment of the Transport Safety Commission in March 2013  (here), Barry Sheerman MP, Chairman and founding member of PACTS, said: “I am delighted to announce that PACTS will be launching a Transport Safety Commission. This will be a high level body with MPs, Peers and independent experts. The commission model has worked very successfully in other areas of public policy and I am confident that it will be equally successful for transport safety. Establishing a Commission is a move that PACTS has been considering for some time.”

The Commission is an independent body. PACTS provides the secretariat.

Further information

For further information contact:

David Davies, Executive Director, david.davies@pacts.org.uk, PACTS 020 7222 7732


UK Transport Safety Inquiry

UK Transport Safety: Who is Responsible?

The Inquiry

The Commission has decided that its first inquiry will be UK Transport Safety: Who is Responsible?

The Commission will inquire into the legal framework and institutional responsibilities for transport safety (road, rail and aviation). The aim will be to compare and contrast the different responsibilities and accountabilities for transport safety with reference to identified international good practice, to highlight strengths and weaknesses of current approaches and determine whether or not lessons can be identified and transferable from one mode to another.

Since most UK transport deaths and injuries occur on the road network, recommendations are expected to focus of the institutional arrangements for road safety. The Commission will not assume that all is satisfactory in rail and air safety and may decide to inquire into these areas too.

Inquiry Questions

The Transport Safety Commission invites written evidence on the following questions:

  • Leadership, responsibility and coordination: Are there clear lines of responsibility for transport safety? How is responsibility structured currently across the different modes and for different system providers? Is national leadership in transport safety evident in all the modes?
  • Objectives and targets: What transport safety results are currently being sought for the different modes and which agencies are accountable on behalf of government for achieving them? What is the role and nature of aims and targets? Should the long-term Safe System goal and strategy be adopted for all transport modes? How can road safety goals be aligned with other transport objectives such as sustainability, public health and active travel measures to achieve co-benefits?
  • Perceptions and culture: How do we gauge public perception of risk, public acceptability of effective measures; and public and corporate acceptance of liability? How can a greater culture of safety be achieved among employers, transport users and others?
  • Funding: What are the current levels of funding for transport safety?  Are annual funding mechanisms and resource allocation procedures appropriate?
  • Promotion: Is transport safety receiving adequate promotion and championing?
  • Monitoring and evaluation: How should trends in safety be monitored and by whom? What is the case for an independent road safety or collision investigator?
  • Research: What provision is made for keeping abreast of effective global practice? What provision is made for transport safety in R&D budgets?

Submitting written evidence

Submissions should be original material and no longer than necessary – ideally up to six pages or 3000 words. Other material may be referenced or annexed. The relevance to the inquiry questions must be stated clearly. Please start with a short description of your organisation and a summary of the key evidence, preferably in bullet point format. The Commission may publish submissions on its website and with the Commission’s report. Submissions should not contain personal or confidential information. They should be sent in Word (not pdf) format to David Davies, PACTS Executive Director, at david.davies@pacts.org.uk.

Oral evidence sessions and reporting

The Commission will invite selected individuals and organisations to give evidence in public. These sessions will be held in Westminster. Further details will be announced. The Commission intends to report by the end of the year.


Inquiry Timetable

Oral Evidence Sessions:

Date:             10th April, 1-3pm
Topic:           Public Health

  • Professor Danny Dorling MSc PhD, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, University of Oxford
  • Dr Yvonne Doyle MD MPH, Regional Director, London, Public Health England
  • Professor Jo Wolff BA MPhil, Dean (Faculty of Arts and Humanities), University College London

Location:      The Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House,

A transcript of the Public Health Evidence Session is available here.


Date:              15th May, 1-3pm

Topic:            Government Officials

  • Jessica Matthew, Deputy Director, Road User Licensing, Insurance and Safety, DfT
  • Iain Greenway, Director of Road Safety and Vehicle Registration Division, DOENI
  • Len Porter, Former Director, RSSB. (A letter from Len Porter

Location:       The Wilson Room, Portcullis House.


Date:              5th June 2014, 1-3pm
Topic:            Transport Users

  • Roger Geffen, Campaigns and Policy Director, CTC
  • Kevin Golding-Williams, Public Affairs and Policy Manager, Living Streets
  • Neil Grieg, Director of Policy and Research, The IAM
  • Craig Carey-Clinch, Public Affairs Officer, Motorcycle Industry Organisation
  • Jack Semple, Director of Policy, The Road Haulage Association
  • James Hookham, Managing Director- Research and Policy, Freight Transport Association.

Location:       The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

A transcript of the Transport Users Evidence Session is available here.


Date:              3rd July 2014, 1-3pm
Topic:            Transport Providers

Panel 1- Government Officials (1-2 pm) Held in Private: 

  • Claire Bennett, Deputy Director Transport – Policy, Planning & Partnerships, Department for Economy, Science and Transport, Welsh Government
  • Jill Mulholland, Head of Transport Accessibility and Road Safety Branch, Transport Policy Directorate, Transport Scotland

Panel 2- Transport Safety Specialists (2-3 pm) Held in Public:

  • Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB
  • John Cartledge, Independent
  • John Elliott, Vice Chair, National Transport Committee, Local Government Technical Advisers Group.

Location:       The Thatcher Room, Portcullis House

A transcript of the Transport Safety Specialists evidence session is available here.


Date: 17th September, 1-3.30pm
Topic: Media/Digital Democracy, EC and Vehicle Safety and Accident and Investigation

Panel 1- Media/Digital Democracy

  • Christian Wolmar, Transport Writer and Broadcaster
  • Jonathan Raper, Managing Director, Transport API (unable to attend)

Panel 2- EC and Vehicle Safety

  • Ellen Townsend, Policy Director, ETSC
  • Richard Cuerden, Technical Director for Vehicle Safety, Engineering and Assurance, TRL

Panel 3- Accident Investigation

  • Alex Luck, Chair, Institute of Traffic Accident Investigators
  • ACC Sean White, Cleveland Police
  • Carolyn Griffiths, Chief Inspector of Rail Accidents, RAIB

Location: The Grimond Room, Portcullis House, Westminster

A transcript of the Media/Digital Democracy, EC and Vehicle Safety and Accident and Investigation session is available here.


Date: 23rd October, 12.30-2.30pm (Please note earlier start time.)
Topics:  Highways Bodies; Medical; Policing and Justice Policy

Panel 1- Highways Bodies

  • Graham Dalton, Chief Executive, Highways Agency
  • Mike Ashworth, Strategic Director, Derbyshire County Council / ADEPT Transport Board
  • John Dawson, Advisor, Road Safety Foundation
  • Anthony Smith, Chief Executive and Robert Gifford, Passenger Focus

Panel 2- Medical and Justice Policy

  • Dr David Tovey, Editor in Chief of The Cochrane Library, Cochrane Injuries Group
  • Professor Tim Coats, Chairman, Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN)
  • Martin Jones, Deputy Director Sentencing, Criminal Justice Group, Ministry of Justice

(NB: Panels 2 and 3 now combined as Home Office witness not available.)

Location: The Grimond Room, Portcullis House, Westminster

A transcript of the Highways Bodies; Medical; Policing and Justice Policy session is available here.

Date: Thursday 20th November, 1pm-3pm
Location: Thatcher Room, Portcullis House, Westminster

Topics: Transport safety regulation, transport safety policy and practice


Panel 1- Safety Regulators and Policing Policy (1-2 pm): 

  • David Jamieson, West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner
  • Kevin Myers, Acting Chief Executive, Health & Safety Executive
  • Ian Prosser, Director for Railway Safety, Office of Rail Regulation
  • Mark Swan, Director of Safety & Airspace Regulation Group, Civil Aviation Authority

Panel 2- Road Safety Minister (2-3 pm): 

  • Robert Goodwill MP, Under Secretary of State for Transport

A transcript of the Transport safety regulation, transport safety policy and practice session is available here.

Attending evidence sessions 

Evidence sessions of the Transport Safety Commission are open to the public and press and attendance is welcomed. They are normally held on the first floor of Portcullis House, Embankment, located above Westminster tube station. Use tube station exit 4 (Bridge Street) and turn left twice to access the Embankment entrance, marked 4 on this map. No ID is required, however airport-style security is in operation, with the exception of fluids. Please allow up to 20 minutes to pass through security. Then proceed to the first floor.