CIHT welcomes first female President

Sheila Holden – CIHT President for 2013 – 14

The Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) is pleased to announce the inauguration of Sheila Holden as its new President for 2013/14.

Sheila was welcomed into her role yesterday (19 June 2013) at a small Inauguration held at CIHT’s central office in London.

The occasion also marked a significant moment in CIHT History as Sheila became the first female President of the Institution since it formed in 1930.

Speaking about her new role, Sheila Holden said “The honour and privilege of being President of CIHT, an Institution I have been involved with for the best part of 30 years, is almost overwhelming.  In the coming year I hope to help lead this organisation, inspire its members and continue to raise the importance of transport to our economy and society.

“As the first woman to take on the presidential role I am aware that I will face particular challenges and will be given some unique opportunities.  I hope to use these in the best possible way – to continue to change the perception of this industry and encourage talented people from all backgrounds to consider choosing a career within highways and transportation.”

Sheila’s theme for the year is ‘Access for all’, and over the next twelve months she will be exploring and developing the theme paying particular focus on looking at accessible transport networks.
Sheila said “We need accessible transport networks that are well planned, built, managed and maintained.  If we are to reduce carbon emissions and improve the nation’s health, we need everyone to be walking and cycling more.

“By providing for those with mobility impairments, all of us will benefit. We must also listen much more to our customers and provide them with the information they need to make informed choices about how they travel. All of us in the profession can contribute to the achievement of these goals, ensuring a more prosperous economy and a more inclusive and healthier society.”

The Presidential Theme will also focus on access to training and skills development, an area which CIHT has always been committed to. Sheila said, “With a clear vision of what we are seeking to achieve I believe we can encourage the most talented, across the whole community to become part of our profession – we need to have more women, more young people, more from ethnic backgrounds and more representatives of those who have mobility impairments working in our industry.

Her Presidential Year will also see the launch of CIHT’s new manifesto in the autumn, which will set out a clear vision for our priorities for future transport policy.

Shelia will also be attending a parliamentary reception which has been arranged by CIHT and WTS with Louise Ellman. This event will promote the need for greater diversity within the profession and will particularly seek to encourage more women to be active and successful in the industry.  A national CIHT conference is also planned to take place in March 2014.


Notes for editors

Sheila Holden

Sheila is an independent consultant and sole Director of The STEP Consultancy Ltd which she founded in 2006 following a long career in local government.  She frequently works in partnership with other consultants providing expert advice on sustainable transport, travel planning, parking management and spatial planning.  She is an associate of Addison & Associates with whom she has worked extensively since 2006 improving planning services and the integration of planning and transport. She was a key member of the team which prepared the DfT’s guidance: Securing Travel Plans through the Planning Process published in 2009 and led a project on travel demand management for SEERA in 2007.  Sheila is also contracted to work as an Inspector with the Planning Inspectorate. 

Prior to her work as a consultant Sheila worked in various local authorities for 30 years.  She joined East Sussex County Council in 1979 where she was involved in the transport planning aspects of road schemes and major development proposals.  On local government reorganisation in 1996 she was appointed as an Assistant Director (Environment) at Brighton & Hove City Council where she was responsible for the integration of planning and transport services and, amongst other things, she oversaw the introduction of decriminalised parking enforcement, the return of Brighton & Hove Albion to Withdean Stadium and contributed to the development of the successful partnership with Brighton & Hove Bus Company.  In 2002 she went on to become Director of Planning & Environment at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead where she led a multi-disciplinary department embracing highways, transport and planning services.

Sheila has been active within the CIHT since the 1980s when she was part of the South-East Branch Committee and its chairman in 1993/4.  She was first elected on to Council in the mid-1990s and has served on transport policy, procurement and member services boards.  She chaired the steering group which produced the IHT’s guidelines on Parking Strategies and Management, published in 2005.  Recently she has supported the Executive Board’s review of the structure of the Institution and is involved in the promotion of diversity within the transport industry.

Sheila lives in Sussex with her husband where they take great pleasure in their home and garden with friends and family.  Together they also enjoy hill-walking (especially on the Isle of Skye), travelling (particularly in the USA), skiing and undertaking numerous DIY projects.

Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation

CIHT is a membership organisation representing over 12,000 people who work in the highways and transportation sector.

CIHT members plan, design, build, operate and maintain best-in-class transport systems and infrastructure, whilst respecting the imperatives of improving safety, ensuring economic competitiveness and minimising environmental impact.

CIHT supports its member’s professional endeavours by:
• offering training, information, professional development and support
• promoting the value added to society by the profession
• being the focused voice to Governments and other decision makers on transportation expertise and knowledge.

For more information please contact:

Daniel Isichei
Director of Communications

t: +44(0)20 7336 1567
m: 07912 122573


Daniel Isichei
Director of Communications

t: +44(0)20 7336 1567
m: 07912 122573

Are you at the right grade of CIHT Membership? Whether you’re a student, associate member or member, this month you can transfer for free! Simply email quoting FGT6-13 to find out more. Applications must be received by Mon 1 July 2013.

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