In a public service career spanning almost 40 years the speaker, Professor Eric Sampson CBE, has tried to support the policies and plans of a large number of Transport Ministers representing a range of political affiliations. During that time he has become increasingly concerned by the near-impossibility of requiring Ministers to take evidence-based transport decisions against a background of seven “management” pressures which frequently pull or push in different directions:
• Safety
• Environmental Impact
• Throughput
• Accessibility and Inclusion
• Integration
• Privacy
• Security
while at the same time they will be expected to follow their party’s political and financial agendas.
In this lecture he reflects on the role of Ministers’ full-time official advisers – the Civil Service – and discusses with some real examples how difficult it can be to find a path between the different pressures when a real issue emerges.

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