The Department for Transport (DfT) is the government department responsible for the English transport network and a limited number of transport matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that have not been devolved. The department is run by the Secretary of State for Transport, currently (since 14 July 2016) Chris Grayling.


Government control of transport and diverse associated matters has been reorganised a number of times in modern history, being the responsibility of:[2]

The name "Ministry of Transport" lives on in the annual MOT test, a test of vehicle safety, roadworthiness, and exhaust emissions, which most vehicles used on public roads in the UK are required to pass annually once they reach three years old (four years for vehicles in Northern Ireland).

The Flag of the old Ministry of Transport.


The Department for Transport has four strategic objectives:

  • Sustain economic growth and improved productivity through reliable and efficient transport networks;
  • Improve the environmental performance of transport;
  • Strengthen the safety and security of transport; and
  • Enhance access to jobs, services, and social networks, including for the most disadvantaged people.

The department "creates the strategic framework" for transport services, which are delivered through a wide range of public and private sector bodies including its own executive agencies.[3]


The DfT Ministers are as follows:[3][4]

Minister Rank Portfolio
The Rt Hon. Chris Grayling MP Secretary of State Overall responsibility for the department[5]
Jo Johnson MP Minister of State Highways England, Modern Transport Bill, maritime (including Maritime and Coastguard Agency), maritime security, freight and logistics, environment and technology, skills and innovation, built environment[6]
Jesse Norman MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Buses, cycling, Highways England, light rail, road freight, road safety, environment, transport technology.[7]
Baroness Sugg of Coldharbour Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Aviation, international relations and trade, Europe, aviation security, cyber & transport security, London (including Crossrail & Crossrail 2), corporate & better regulation, all transport parliamentary business in the House of Lords.[8]
Nusrat Ghani MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Accessibility across all transport modes, buses and taxis, HS2, maritime, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, maritime security, skills and apprenticeships, and the Year of Engineering

The Permanent Secretary is Bernadette Kelly.

2017 Judicial Review

Following a series of strikes, poor performance, removal of access for the disabled and commuter protests relating to Govia Thameslink Railway a group of commuters crowdfunded £26,000 to initiate a Judicial Review into the Department for Transport's management and failure to penalise Govia or remove the management contract. The oral hearing to determine if commuters have standing to bring a Judicial Review is listed for 29 June 2017 at the Royal Court of Justice.[9][10]

Executive agencies

Non-departmental public bodies

The DfT sponsors the following public bodies:


The devolution of transport policy varies around the UK; most aspects in Great Britain are decided at Westminster. Key reserved transport matters (i.e., not devolved) are as follows:

Scotland Reserved matters:[11]

Northern Ireland Reserved matters:[12]

The department's devolved counterparts in Northern Ireland are:

Wales Under the Welsh devolution settlement, specific policy areas are transferred to the National Assembly for Wales rather than reserved to Westminster.

See also


  1. ^ Budget 2011 (PDF). London: HM Treasury. 2011. p. 48. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Transport Departments". The National Digital Archive of Datasets. The National Archives. 10 January 2008. Archived from the original on 25 October 2005. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Cabinet Office List of Government Departments and Ministers: Department for Transport
  4. ^ "Her Majesty's Official Opposition". UK Parliament. Retrieved 17 October 2017. 
  5. ^ "The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP". gov.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "The Rt Hon John Hayes MP". gov.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "Jesse Norman". gov.uk. Retrieved 6 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon". gov.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  9. ^ "Commuter group to meet Department for Transport in court over Southern crisis". www.brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Judicial Review of the Department for Transport over Southern Rail". CrowdJustice. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  11. ^ Scotland Act 1998, Schedule 5, Part II
  12. ^ Northern Ireland Act 1998, Schedule 3
  13. ^ DRD: About The Department
  14. ^ DoE: About Us Archived 8 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine.

External links

Coordinates: 51°29′41″N 0°07′45″W / 51.4946°N 0.1293°W / 51.4946; -0.1293