Confirmed Speakers So Far

Richard Turfitt

Senior Traffic Commissioner – East of England

Richard Turfitt joined the Health and Safety Executive in 1999 and helped establish their Litigation and Enforcement Advisory team. Richard helped to found the Health and Safety Lawyers’ Association and is a serving Justice of the Peace.

Richard left independent practice in 1997 to prosecute on behalf of the Departments of Social Security and Health. In 1998 he moved to the Treasury Solicitor’s Department to undertake personal injury litigation. He was also responsible for managing the representation of the Prison Service at inquests throughout England and Wales.

Richard has been the Traffic Commissioner for the East of England since 2008 and on 1st June 2017, Richard was appointed as the new Senior Traffic Commissioner, taking over from Beverley Bell.

Richard will be speaking at Newcastle and Peterborough.

Gordon Macdonald

Head of Enforcement Policy - DVSA

Gordon has been involved in commercial vehicle enforcement for the last 30 years, having begun his Civil Service career as an AO in the Scottish Traffic Area Office’s enforcement office in 1985.

In 1991 his enforcement experience was extended further when he became a Traffic Examiner within the Vehicle Inspectorate. Following this, he spent six years as a Senior Traffic Examiner managing a team of Traffic Examiners and Bus Compliance Officers covering Fife, Central and Lothian & Borders.

In 2004 Gordon moved across to VOSA’s HQ based Policy Unit, managing the organisation’s ANPR and ANPR/WIMS Project. This project introduced a radical new approach to targeting overloaded vehicles, instantaneously comparing live weights to technical data.

He became an Enforcement Policy Manager in 2006, before becoming DVSA’s Head of Enforcement Policy at the start of 2013.

Nick Jones

Traffic Commissioner – Wales

Nick was appointed as Traffic Commissioner for Wales and the West Midlands in May 2007. He worked as a chief officer in the magistrates’ courts service and served as a justices’ chief executive and a justices’ clerk in West Yorkshire and West Mercia. Before his appointment as Traffic Commissioner, Nick worked as a senior crown prosecutor in Birmingham and Hereford. For much of his time as a chief officer Nick was responsible for training staff and magistrates on law, including road traffic law. He was a longtime member of NACRO’s National Race Issues Advisory Committee. Nick is a chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and is a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Nick will be speaking at Newport.

Kevin Rooney

Traffic Commissioner – West of England


Kevin Rooney joined the Department for Transport to develop vehicle safety policy before moving to the Transport Research Laboratory and then to the Vehicle Certification Agency. Kevin worked at the Vehicle Inspectorate and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), managing the introduction of the first MOT emission tests, diesel smoke tests and led the programme to upgrade VOSA’s enforcement processes. He has also worked as a road safety consultant to new EU member states and neighbouring countries and set up an EU project to agree minimum training levels for control officers.

Kevin was a founder Director of the Confederation of Organisations in Road Transport Enforcement which has members from over 30 countries.

Kevin will be speaking at Yeovil and Southampton

Sarah Bell

Traffic Commissioner – London and South East

Sarah was appointed Traffic Commissioner for the West of England commencing in June 2007. She was made a partner at Moore & Blatch in May 2003 where she headed up the marine department and co-headed the regulatory department. From 1999 until 2007 she worked representing the interests haulage operators, their directors and drivers in the criminal courts, at public inquiry before Traffic Commissioners and the Upper Tribunal. She also prosecuted complex cases for the Health & Safety Executive and had a diverse marine practice. As well as her standard duties as Traffic Commissioner, Sarah gives talks to trade bodies and other stakeholders.

Sarah will be speaking at The Oval

Simon Evans

Traffic Commissioner - North West of England

Simon Evans is the Deputy Traffic Commissioner for the north west of England. He hears the majority of public inquiry cases in that region and also performs a number of other functions, including speaking engagements, while Beverley Bell fulfils her duties as Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain.

A solicitor, Simon worked for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service for 26 years, initially as a Justices’ Clerk and latterly as an Area Director. He currently sits as a Tribunal Judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Entitlement Chamber), an Independent Member of the Parole Board for England and Wales and is a Lay member of the Fitness to Practice Panel of the Nursery and Midwifery Council. He was appointed as a Deputy Traffic Commissioner in 2008.

Simon will be speaking at Knutsford.

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

Mark Horton will be speaking at Newcastle

Chris Dorman will be speaking at Knutsford

Dave Collings will be speaking at Newport

Stuart Carter will be speaking at Yeovil and Southampton

Phil Lapczuk will be speaking at Peterborough

Phil Jowitt will be speaking at Doncaster

Walter Brown will be speaking at Dunblane

Del Evans will be speaking at London

Dave Woods will be speaking at Coventry

James Hookham

Deputy Chief Executive - Freight Transport Association

James Hookham is Deputy Chief Executive of the Freight Transport Association, the UK’s largest trade association serving the needs of the freight and logistics sectors. James has worked at FTA for over 25 years and has served as its Policy Director for most of that time, leading the FTA response on issues such as fuel duty, operator licensing and social legislation and the development of many new initiatives at FTA, including the popular Transport Manager conferences and FTA’s accreditation marques, Van and Truck Excellence.  James is currently responsible for FTA’s Global and European policy team, leading FTA’s response to Brexit and establishing new networks for FTA members through the creation of the Global Shippers’ Forum and its membership of the European Shippers’ Council. He is FTA’s chief spokesperson and is a frequent commentator on TV and radio and in press coverage.

James is a graduate in Environmental Science from the University of Bradford, studied the safe transport of dangerous goods at the University of Manchester and reckons that Steely Dan are the best rock and roll band in the world.

James will be chairing our Peterborough and London venues.

David Wells

Chief Executive - Freight Transport Association

David Wells is Chief Executive of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) representing industry’s freight interests by road, rail, sea and air. FTA has over 16,000 members who operate more than 220,000 goods vehicles (half of the UK fleet) consign over 90 per cent of freight moved by rail and 70 per cent of sea and air freight.

David joined FTA in April 2009 as Finance and IT Director; subsequently taking on additional responsibility for the Association’s Vehicle Inspection Service, Training and Tachograph Analysis Service. David became Chief Executive in early 2015 and since then has seen membership grow by 10%.

Having completed an Engineering degree in Liverpool, David studied for membership of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, qualifying in November 1993 whilst working in industry. His career has centred around engineering and service businesses and has both European and North American finance and operations experience.

David will be chairing our Coventry venue.

Es Shepherd

Head of Member Advice Centre - Freight Transport Association

After 20 years working with computers, Es moved to the transport industry, first as an agency driver and then as an instructor. Following a role with a national parcel delivery company, he moved to an international transport consultancy dealing with compliancy issues and driver assessment both in the UK and Eastern Europe. He now manages the Member Advice Centre for FTA.

Ian Gallagher

Head of Policy - South West and Wales, Freight Transport Association

Ian has been with FTA for 16 years having joined in February 2001 as part of the Member Advice Team answering member queries. As Policy Manager for Wales and the Southwest he is responsible for working on behalf of the membership with the Welsh Government, Regional Consortia and other representative bodies to ensure that the interests of freight are considered at all levels. Additionally he is FTA’s issue manager responsible for all aspects of driver licensing and vehicle registration policy.

Christopher Snelling

Head of National and Regional Policy & Public Affairs - Freight Transport Association

Christopher has the lead responsibility for urban policy issues at FTA and co-ordinating the work of the wider policy team. He was previously Head of Supply Chain Policy where he was responsible for issues affecting rail freight and the UK’s maritime and aviation international connections. His work involves lobbying Government and industry stakeholders as well as developing advice for members. His experience prior to joining FTA included working for a political consultancy where he advised firms in the transportation, technological and environmental fields. He has also worked for RAC on political policy issues and in the House of Commons for an MP as a researcher.

Joan Aitken

Traffic Commissioner for Scotland

Joan Aitken was the Scottish Prison Complaints Commissioner (Ombudsman) from 1999 until her appointment as a Traffic Commissioner.

Joan has served as a part time chairman of employment tribunals, disability appeal tribunals and child support appeal tribunals in Scotland. As a solicitor she has worked in both private practice and local government. She is a former member of the Council of the Law Society of Scotland and for many years was editor of that Society’s Journal. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Joan will be speaking at Dunblane

Martin Flach

Director, Alternative Fuels, IVECO UK and ROI

Since graduating Martin has held a number of positions within the commercial vehicle industry. His career began with Ford Motor Company (Truck Division). He joined Iveco Ford Truck in 1986 following the merger of Iveco and Ford (Truck Division) and remained with Iveco following the formation of Iveco Ltd in 2003. He is currently Alternative Fuels Director with responsibility for the Light, Medium and Heavy product ranges. Prior to this role Martin held the position of Product Director, UK & ROI. He has also held the following positions for IVECO in Italy, at the Brescia Production Plant and in the IVECO headquarters of Turin, as Chief Engineer responsible for the medium product range and as Line Manager for Medium and Heavy product, before returning to the UK.

Tim Blackmore

Traffic Commissioner - North East of England

Tim Blackmore was commissioned into the Royal Corps of Transport in 1992 after graduating from the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He was promoted to Colonel in 2014 and assumed the role of the Head of British Forces Post Office. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics and the Chartered Management Institute.

As a young officer, Tim saw numerous operational deployments in the Balkans. In 1999, he assumed the appointment of Adjutant of 10 Queen’s Own Gurkha Transport Regiment. In 2002, he completed an MSc in Defence Technology and Applied Sciences. He subsequently commanded 14 Transport Squadron and later 10 The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment, having been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Tim saw operational deployments to Afghanistan during both of these commands. He was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2014.

Tim will be speaking at Newcastle

Natalie Chapman

Head of Policy - London & East of England

Natalie leads on lobbying activities in London and the East of England on behalf of FTA’s 16,000 members. This includes developing and shaping transport policy; working closely with the main governmental, political and policy stakeholders in the region; and representing the industry in the media. Natalie played a central coordination and communication role in the management of freight and logistics for the London 2012 Olympic Games. 

Currently she is campaigning to get the best arrangements for members with the proposed Direct Vision Standard, changes to London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone and reform of the London Lorry Control Scheme. Natalie is a keen advocate for enabling deliveries in the capital to be retimed out of peak hours and chairs TfL’s Retiming Deliveries Consortium. She also works closely with London’s business community to enhance and underpin FTA’s campaigning and is Deputy Chair of the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Transport Committee.

Natalie read Law at the University of the West of England in Bristol and graduated in 2003. She joined FTA later the same year.

Natalie will be speaking at Peterborough and London

Becki Kite

Environment Policy Manager - Freight Transport Association

Becki has been with FTA for 7 years, working within its tacho, member services and cost information teams. As a research analyst, she worked closely with the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme. She is now Environment Policy Manager and attends meetings with the LoCity/Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (Low CVP) working group and local councils, all of which are dedicated and passionate about reducing vehicle emissions. 

Air quality is an ongoing, increasing challenge, but industry continues to rise to it, remaining open to new ideas, trialling new technologies and developing their own new innovative techniques to achieve a cleaner fleet.

Becki will be speaking at Southampton.