Travel show host Michael Palin has expressed his admiration for the CEO of Campaign for Better Transport who steps away from the charity after 30 years.
Stephen Joseph was appointed executive director of Transport 2000 – now known as Campaign for Better Transport – in 1988. He steps down from his current role in the autumn with the charity now gearing up to find his replacement.
During his time with the charity, Stephen has worked with 18 different transport secretaries and seven different governments.
Under his leadership, Campaign for Better Transport said that he has been instrumental in getting the government to drop above inflation rail fare rises; the introduction of the New Stations Fund to finance new railway stations and reopen lines; securing the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
Stephen said that today’s transport world is a very different one to when he started. He added: “Back then, sustainability and user interests were fringe concerns and nobody in the Department for Transport would even talk to us; the government was consulting on shutting the Settle-Carlisle railway; the only trams in the UK were on a heritage line; and there was talk of big new motorways in cities.
“Now, we are seeing new railway stations and reopened lines; cities are building cycle routes and turning roads into spaces for people; and there are new modern tram networks.”
Michael Palin, president of Campaign for Better Transport, added: “ I have enormous admiration for his commitment and dedication to the cause of better and more extensive public transport.
“Stephen wears his enthusiasms lightly, preferring discussion and debate to the dogmatic or dictatorial.
“Though he will listen to all sides of an argument, he is admirably tenacious and determined in pursuing what he believes in.
“Well informed, well connected and well respected, his diplomatic skills have achieved a harmony and coordination of purpose not always present in pressure groups.
“The cause of better transport cannot have had a more staunch advocate. Though his skilful, steadfast leadership will be sorely missed, Stephen has built the firm foundations on which future work can go forward.”
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