New chairman for RAC Foundation14 Jul 2009

David Quarmby CBE has been appointed as the new chairman of the Royal Automobile Club Foundation, the motoring charity.

David is a consultant in transport, planning, economics and tourism. He already chairs the Transport Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University. He takes over from David Holmes CB who is stepping down at the end of his tenure.

Speaking about his appointment to the three-year post David Quarmby said: “I am delighted and honoured to be appointed chairman of the RAC Foundation at such an important and challenging time for transport policy.”

“There can rarely have been a time when the role of the Foundation has been more crucial in representing the needs of the responsible motorist, and of people and communities dependent on the car. With the twin threats of increasing congestion and falling public expenditure hanging over all aspects of policy, they need a strong, well informed, voice.”

“With a general election less than a year away it must be the Foundation’s job to ensure all politicians are aware of the importance of an effective road network to the recovery and continued wellbeing of the UK economy.”

“My involvement with the Foundation is not something new. I have been a member of the public policy committee since 1999. Now I look forward to working alongside the director, Professor Stephen Glaister and his team, to help ensure the Foundation’s reputation for research and evidence-based advocacy continues. David Holmes has left the organisation in impressive shape and I am looking forward to the task of sustaining his record.”

The outgoing chairman said of his successor: “The Foundation is recognised for its independence, its high quality research and its evidence-based comments. I am sure David Quarmby will build on its achievements and find the job as rewarding as I have.”



* DAVID QUARMBY CBE MA PhD Hon DEng Hon DSc FCILT FTS is a consultant in transport, planning, economics and tourism; chairman of the Transport Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University; a non-executive director of NedRailways (UK); and a member of the RAC Foundation Public Policy Committee. David was until recently a director of Colin Buchanan and Partners, and continues to work free-lance for them.

For Colin Buchanan, David has recently led the development of a transport strategy for the Milton Keynes/South Midlands partnership (one of the government’s major growth areas), analysing the ability of the road and rail networks to support the ambitious growth agenda. In 2008 David was a Member of the Commission of Inquiry appointed by Essex CC into the A12 Trunk Road, and has twice chaired EEDA’s Transport Summit.

Since 1996 he has been chairman of the British Tourist Authority and chairman of the English Tourist Board (prior to the creation of VisitBritain); chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority; chairman of the Docklands Light Railway; and a Board Member of Transport for London.

Prior to 1996 David was for 12 years a main board director of Sainsburys, first as Logistics Director and then as Joint Managing Director responsible for all company operations. From 1975 to 1984 he was a Board Member and then Managing Director, Buses at London Transport. In the late 1960’s he was an Economic Adviser at the Ministry of Transport, working on the development of demand forecasting methods for the national road network, and of COBA, the first method for cost-benefit analysis of road investment.

David was appointed CBE in 2003, and has honorary degrees from Edinburgh Napier University and Huddersfield University.

* The RAC Foundation explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and the use of motor vehicles, and campaigns to secure a fair deal for responsible road users. Independent and authoritative research for the public benefit and informed debate are central to the RAC Foundation’s standing.

The RAC Foundation was originally set up in 1991 fundamentally as a research arm of RAC. Following the de-merger and sale of RAC in 1999, the Foundation took on a new and wider role to include researching and promoting issues of safety, mobility, economics and the environment.