RAC Foundation

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The RAC Foundation (The Royal Automobile Club Foundation for Motoring) is a registered charity.

It is a transport policy and research organisation that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and their users. It publishes independent and authoritative research with which it promotes informed debate and advocates policy in the interests of the responsible motorist.

It was established as the research arm of RAC Motoring Services Ltd in 1991, when Motoring Services was owned by the Royal Automobile Club. In 1999, when Motoring Services was sold by the Club, the Foundation became an independent organisation. It later gained charitable status.


The Foundation was formed in 1991.[1]

It became independent of RAC Motoring Services in 1999 and received a legacy from the members of the Royal Automobile who had sold RAC Motoring Services. It subsequently became a charity.[1]

The current director is Steve Gooding CB who took up the post in May 2015[2] , taking over from Professor Stephen Glaister CBE who was in the role since April 2008 and upon leaving took up a non-executive directorship at the Office of Rail and Road.[3]

Steve Gooding had previously been Director General of Roads, Traffic and Local Group at the Department for Transport and led the work that resulted in the transformation of the Highways Agency into Highways England. He started with the Civil Service in 1983 and moved into the central transport department in 1988 where he worked until joining the Foundation except for periods spent in the Cabinet Office, the Government Office for London and the Office of the Rail Regulator.

The Foundation's first director was Edmund King (campaigner). He later left to become president of the Automobile Association.[4]

The first chairman of the Foundation was Sir Christopher Foster (economist) MA (Cantab), an academic at the University of Oxford and MIT, a Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, a consultant at Coopers & Lybrand, and then PricewaterhouseCoopers, and a temporary civil servant. He was a special adviser to Barbara Castle, Dick Marsh, Tony Crosland and Peter Shore.

Sir Christopher was followed in 2003 by David Holmes CB who was formerly Director of Government and Industry Affairs at British Airways and prior to that held several senior positions in the Department for Transport, including Deputy Secretary with responsibility for roads and traffic.

David Holmes was succeeded in July 2009 by David Quarmby CBE,[5] a consultant in transport, planning, economics and tourism. He was previously a non-executive director of NedRailways (UK) and a former director of Colin Buchanan and Partners. For 12 years he was a main board member of Sainsburys, first as logistics director and latterly as joint managing director.

In July 2013, David Quarmby was replaced as chairman by Joe Greenwell CBE,[6] the former chairman of Ford UK. Joe Greenwell had previously been: Vice President, Government Affairs, Premier Automotive Group and Ford of Europe; Chairman and CEO of Jaguar and Land Rover; and Vice President, Marketing and Operations, Ford Motor Company.


The Foundation has a board of six trustees including Joe Greenwell who sits as its chair.[7]

The Public Policy Committee, also chaired by Joe Greenwell, is an advisory body consisting of approximately a dozen members with relevant transport experience and interests, mainly drawn from academia, politics and business. The committee is consulted about research, strategy, major campaigns and future policy.[7]

Day-to-day activity is managed by the director and various permanent staff.[7]


The Foundation’s research falls into four main categories: economics, environment, mobility and safety. All of the research is available on the RAC Foundation website.

Some research is carried out in-house. The Foundation also commissions experts in their field to investigate key areas of transport policy.

In 2010 and 2011 the Foundation was one of the sponsors of the RAC Brighton to London Future Car Challenge. The Foundation analysed the data collected from the low carbon cars that completed the run and published its conclusions in Shades of Green (2010)[8] and The Green Charge (2011).[9]


Key publications include:

  • Roads and Reality.[10]
  • The Car in British Society.[11]
  • Governing and Paying for England’s Roads.[12]
  • Keeping the Nation Moving.[13]
  • Fuel for Thought, the What, Why and How of Motoring Taxation.[14]
  • On the Move: Car and Rail Travel Trends.[15]
  • Powering Ahead: Future of Low-Carbon Cars and Fuels.[16]
  • Ploughing On - Winter Resilience Review.[17]
  • The Car and the Commute.[18]
  • Graduated Driver Licensing - Mapping the Cost of Young Driver Accidents.[19]
  • Air Quality and Road Transport.[20]


  1. ^ a b "History". RAC Foundation. Retrieved 2015-06-19. 
  2. ^ "Top Civil Servant to Lead Transport Research Charity". RAC Foundation. 2015-03-05. Retrieved 2015-06-19. 
  3. ^ "Stephen Glaister is new RAC Foundation director". RAC Foundation. 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  4. ^ "AA appoints president". 2007-12-10. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  5. ^ "New chairman for RAC Foundation". RAC Foundation. 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  6. ^ "Ford's Joe Greenwell becomes head of RAC Foundation". Fleet World. 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  7. ^ a b c "How are we governed". RAC Foundation. Retrieved 2010-02-26. 
  8. ^ "Shades of Green". RAC Foundation. 2011-05-06. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  9. ^ "The Green Charge". RAC Foundation. 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  10. ^ "Roads and Reality". RAC Foundation. 2008-11-07. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  11. ^ "The Car in British Society". RAC Foundation. 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  12. ^ "Governing and Paying for England's Roads". RAC Foundation. 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  13. ^ "Keeping the Nation Moving". RAC Foundation. 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  14. ^ "Fuel for Thought". RAC Foundation. 2012-05-12. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  15. ^ "On the Move Car and Rail Travel Trends". RAC Foundation. 2012-12-03. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  16. ^ "Powering Ahead: Future of Low-Carbon Cars and Fuels". RAC Foundation. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  17. ^ "Ploughing On - Winter Resilience Review". RAC Foundation. 2013-05-10. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  18. ^ "The Car and the Commute". RAC Foundation. 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  19. ^ "Graduated Driver Licensing - Mapping the Cost of Young Driver Accidents". RAC Foundation. 2014-05-27. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 
  20. ^ "Air Quality and Road Transport". RAC Foundation. 2014-06-04. Retrieved 2014-08-27. 

External links[edit]