David Armitage named chairman of RC Foundation
Jul 22 2009 by Henryk Zientek, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
BETTER road links are vital to Britain’s economic recovery, says a former Huddersfield transport expert.
David Quarmby said the country’s road network was under threat from increased congestion and falling public spending.
And he claimed that “responsible motorists” and communities dependent on the car needed a strong voice to make their case.
Mr Quarmby was speaking following his appointment as chairman of motoring charity the Royal Automobile Club Foundation.
Mr Quarmby, who grew up in Huddersfield, is a consultant in transport, planning, economics and tourism and has been a member of the foundation’s public policy committee since 1999.
The foundation carries out campaigns and research in support of “the responsible motorist” on issues including transport, the economy and the environment.
Mr Quarmby was born in Halifax, but moved with his family to Huddersfield when he was two.
His father owned and managed paper box and beer mat manufacturing firm John Quarmby and Sons at Milnsbridge.
He attended St David’s School at Marsh and later graduated from Cambridge University before launching his career with the Ministry of Transport.
He was an economic adviser to the ministry in the late 1960s before joining London Transport and rising to become managing director of its bus division.
Mr Quarmby later became joint managing director of supermarket chain Sainsbury’s before being appointed chairman of the British Tourist Authority for seven years.
He was also deputy chairman of the now-defunct Strategic Rail Authority and was awarded the CBE in 2003.
Mr Quarmby has honorary degrees from Huddersfield University and Edinburgh Napier University, where he chairs its transport research institute.
Speaking about his appointment with the RAC Foundation, Mr Quarmby said: “There can hardly 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 congestion and falling public expenditure hanging over all aspects of policy, they need a strong, well-informed voice,” he said.