Following the publication of the Labour government’s transport white paper (A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone) in July 1998, a suggestion was made to Bernard Jenkin MP, at that time the Conservative spokesman on transport, that he would benefit from the services of a ‘think tank’. The idea was that this would be a counterpoint to the Government-funded Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT).
In the event, putting a think tank in the service of the Shadow Secretary of State proved impractical. Many of those approached liked the idea but did not want it to serve a political party, or to create an organisation that was biased in favour of certain modes. Of much more benefit, it was agreed, would be a neutral and independent pan-transport organisation, focusing on evidence-based research and policy advice, and not a lobbying or campaigning group.
The ‘Independent Transport Commission’, as it was then christened, was formally launched at the Royal Society of Arts in October 1999. Since that time the ITC has grown and developed into the UK’s leading independent pan-transport research charity, with influence at the highest levels of Government.
The short history of the ITC has been an eventful one and has, inevitably, seen members come and go. Those serving now would particularly like to acknowledge their debt to the following figures who served before them.
Richard Simmonds CBE, (First chairman)
Dr Derek Langslow
Sir Patrick Brown KCB (Second chairman)
Professor Mike McDonald
Dr David Quarmby CBE (Third Chairman)
William Tyson OBE
Professor Greg Marsden
Simon Linnett (Fourth Chairman)
And particularly Terence Bendixson who served as Secretary for the first decade of the ITC’s history.