About the APPG
The All-Party Parliamentary Group For Better Roads
The inaugural meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Better Roads took place on 17th May 2022.
The APPG for Better Roads was previously known as the APPG for Highways. As it was not possible to reform the Group after the December 2019 election and then the Covid-19 pandemic, the APPG was established in May 2022 following the lifting of restrictions, when the name change was confirmed.
Activity previously initiated by the APPG for Highways included its well-received report on Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA), highlighting how the use of WMAs can reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiencies on highways projects. Following publication of the report in September 2018, National Highways updated its Specification for Highways Works, to enable the use of WMAs by default on its network.
The Group is supported by the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) and Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE). The Asphalt Industry Alliance is a partnership between the Mineral Products Association and Eurobitume UK. The Mineral Products Association acts as the Group’s secretariat.
Membership is open to all parliamentarians and meetings regularly have strong attendance.
Chair, Sir Christopher Chope MP
Sir Christopher Chope has over 25 years’ experience as an MP. He was first elected as Conservative MP for Christchurch in 1997. Prior to that he was MP for Southampton Itchen from 1983-1992.
Chris held Ministerial office in the Governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major between 1986 and 1992, latterly as Roads Minister. He also held shadow Ministerial posts under William Hague and Michael Howard. He was a member of the Health & Safety Commission from 1993 to 1997 and the Local Government Commission from 1993 to 1996.
Chris began his political career as Leader of Wandsworth Council in 1979 when he helped pioneer competitive tendering and cost-cutting in Local Government, ensuring that Wandsworth could achieve the lowest council tax in the country.
Chris has held various positions in the Conservative Party. As Vice-Chairman for Local Government, he founded the Conservative Councillors Association. He was Chairman of the Parliamentary Candidates Association between 1995 and 1997. He also served as Joint Secretary of the 1922 Committee of Conservative Backbenchers from 2006-2012.
In the 2017 to 2019 Parliament, Chris was a member of the Committee for Exiting the European Union and the Home Affairs Committee. He was also on the Speaker’s Panel of Chairmen, the Privileges Committee, the Standards Committee and the Procedure Committee. In addition, he was also Joint Treasurer of the British-American Parliamentary Group and a member of the UK Parliamentary delegation to the Assembly of the Council of Europe.
Vice Chair, Lilian Greenwood MP
Lilian Greenwood was elected in May 2010 as the Labour Member of Parliament for Nottingham South.
As a former regional official for the trade union, UNISON, representing public service workers, Lilian campaigned successfully on a range of issues such as equality, improving pensions, increasing funding for the health service and workers’ rights. She remains committed to these issues while in Parliament, speaking in hundreds of debates and regularly questioning Ministers and the Prime Minister.
Lilian has helped secure £60 million of funding to refurbish the city’s train station, an extension to Nottingham’s tram network and the upgrading of the A453. She has also worked with local partners to bring the Nottingham Greener Housing external wall insulation scheme to Clifton, helped secure funding for Decent Homes in Nottingham and has campaigned for regulation of landlords and Homes of Multiple Occupation.
In October 2010, the then Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband MP, asked Lilian to take on the position of Assistant Whip, giving her responsibility for organising other Labour MPs when the party votes in the House of Commons and to assist the Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in challenging the Coalition Government, holding them to account over their programme of severe cuts.
A year later, the Labour Leader asked Lilian to take on a role in the transport team with responsibility for the local transport brief before switching in January 2013 to the shadow rail brief. In September 2015, Lilian was appointed the role of Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, a post she held for nine months.
In October 2016, Lilian became a member of the Education Select Committee. Following the General Election in 2017, she was elected as Chair of the Transport Select Committee and held the position until the 2019 election.
In December 2019, Lilian was re-elected as MP for Nottingham South and became Opposition Deputy Chief Whip in May 2021.
Vice Chair, Gareth Bacon MP
Gareth Bacon was elected as Conservative MP for Orpington in Kent in December 2019.
Following a Bachelors Degree at the University of Kent in 1996, he took a Masters Degree in European Politics at the same university, with his Masters dissertation examining the democratic deficit in the European Union. He subsequently worked in financial services before moving into financial recruitment, latterly as a director of a large financial recruitment business.
He became a London Assembly Member in 2008, initially as a London-wide Member and latterly as representative for the constituency of Bromley and Bexley, which includes Orpington. On the Assembly, he led the GLA Conservatives and worked tirelessly to protect green spaces, keep communities safe, and ensure that every penny of taxpayers’ money was spent well.
In the final 18 months of Boris Johnson’s mayoralty, Gareth served as Chairman of the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority. This body oversaw the London Fire Brigade and co-ordinated the emergency planning work for London.
In 1998, Gareth was elected to serve as a local councillor in the London Borough of Bexley, and over the next nine years served as a Cabinet Member in a number of positions including as Deputy Leader of the Council, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, and Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm.
Vice Chair, Greg Smith MP
Greg Smith was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for the Buckingham constituency in the December 2019 General Election. Previously he worked in print, design and marketing, serving clients across the manufacturing, medical technology and charity sectors.
Greg is an opponent of HS2 and the local Expressway. He also believes that, while there is also a clear need for more houses in the UK, there are many brownfield sites in towns and cities around the country that are far more suitable for housebuilding than destroying the countryside.
As a father, he wants to ensure there is world class education for every child in the area and will campaign for further increases to per pupil funding, on top of the Government’s recent increases.
In the 2017 General Election, Greg was the Conservative Party Candidate in Hayes and Harlington. In the Conservative Party’s Leadership election in 2019, Greg served as the Regional Co-ordinator for the Boris Johnson campaign, covering the South East of England.
Vice Chair, Gavin Newlands MP
Gavin Newlands was elected to serve as the Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North at the Westminster election in May 2015 and was subsequently re-elected in the General Elections of 2017 and 2019.
Born in Paisley, Gavin has lived in Renfrew since he was four years old. Before being elected as the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Gavin had a successful career in the private sector and was a keen member of Renfrew Community Council for five years.
Gavin has been a member of the Scottish National Party (SNP) for nearly 25 years, joining the political party back in 1992 during the campaign against the Poll Tax.
Vice Chair, Lord Kirkhope
Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate was Conservative Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Yorkshire & Humber from 1999-2016. He previously served as MP for Leeds North East 1987-1997 and as a Government Whip and Home Office Minister in that period.
He was elevated to the peerage by David Cameron in 2016, at which time he retired as an MEP to take up his seat in the House of Lords. He has continued to take an active interest in Yorkshire regional affairs and from July 2019 has acted as the co-chair of the “One Yorkshire” devolution APPG.
Lord Kirkhope also serves on the House of Lords EU select sub-committee on Justice and Home Affairs continuing his interest, as a Lawyer, in this important field of Policy. While in the European Parliament, Timothy was the ECR Co-ordinator and the Conservative spokesman for the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee. He was also on the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with the United States and was a substitute on the Transport Committee.
The Chair and members of The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Better Roads (formerly the APPG for Highways) were sad to hear of the death of long-standing member and former Vice Chairman, Viscount Simon.
We were fortunate to benefit from Viscount Simon’s expertise and insight acquired over his distinguished career and his perspicacious wisdom will be sorely missed. Our sincere condolences were passed on to his family and friends.