A SENIOR Cambridgeshire County Council officer has been honoured for a lifetime s devotion to improving local transport. The council s Executive Director of Environment Services, Brian Smith, was by CSS – formerly the county surveyors society – praised f

A SENIOR Cambridgeshire County Council officer has been honoured for a lifetime's devotion to improving local transport.

The council's Executive Director of Environment Services, Brian Smith, was by CSS - formerly the county surveyors' society - praised for his inspired leadership, drive and commitment to the council. The award panel said that without him many of the positive initiatives and ratings that his authority has received would not have happened.

Under his guidance CCC has won numerous awards including the prestigious Transport Authority of the Year twice - in 2001 and 2007.

In his 13 years in charge of transport in the county, Cambridgeshire has also led the country in developing record volumes of park-and-ride passengers and in bucking the national trend outside London by expanding bus ridership year after year.

"I knew nothing about this in advance," he told The Hunts Post. "I was surprised, pleased and humbled at the same time. It's a great honour to be recognised by my peers from across the country," he added.

But it was not just a personal accolade, he insisted. "It's about the people working with you and the working relationships we have with a whole range of partners across the county and more widely.

"Otherwise, if you are putting your energies into fighting each other, you don't get on with delivery.

"But there's so much going on here that it gives you scope to get things done, so I hope everyone feels a bit of reflected glory from this award."

One of Mr Smith's next tasks will be to ensure county councillors take an informed decision on the recommendation of Sir Brian Briscoe's transport commission that CCC should press ahead urgently with a £514million bid to improve transport in Cambridgeshire in exchange for congestion charging in the city of Cambridge - before the Government money on offer runs out or is withdrawn from the table.

Mr Smith recently completed a year as president of CSS.