Transport connects everyone. It’s integral to people’s lives, gets people to work,
supports city growth and connects us internationally. The transport sector is a major
sector for the economy and a significant employer: nearly 5% of the workforce is in
transport-related industries.

DfT is at the heart of the transport system. We set the legal framework for all transport
sectors and are the principal funder for many. We also deliver transport services direct
to customers through our six organisations:

  • Active Travel England (ATE)
  • Department for Transport (DfTc)
  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
  • Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
  • Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA)
  • Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)

Six organisations, one goal

Each part of the DfT family is different: different operating environments, job roles,
professions and locations. We have a significant presence in London, but we have staff
all over the country, with over 40% of our workforce in Swansea. We do everything
from improving road and maritime safety to investigating accidents and issuing driving
licences. We support innovation and low-pollution modes of transport, and our staff
work in all sorts of environments; from ships at sea to contact centres.

Active Travel England walking, wheeling, cycling

ATE (Active Travel England) is the Department for Transport’s newest executive agency. It has been set up following the Government’s unprecedented commitment of £2 billion for walking, wheeling and cycling, and comes in the wake of the ambitious Gear Change strategy to transform active travel. 

Department for Transport logo on a sign.

DfTc (Department for Transport Central) is responsible for providing policy, guidance and funding to local authorities to help them run and maintain their roads. They invest in around 4,300 miles of motorway and trunk roads through Highways England, setting the strategic direction for the rail industry in England and Wales, supporting low pollution modes of transport, making aviation policy and setting world renowned standards for safety and security in transport. The organisation is based primarily in London.

Sun setting on DVLA tower block.

DVLA keeps complete and accurate records of drivers and vehicles. The agency is also responsible for Vehicle Excise Duty and helping to ensure the public is protected from uninsured vehicles and drivers. Headquarters are in Swansea.

DVSA staff member standing in front of a white DVSA sign.

DVSA improves road safety by setting standards for driving and making sure road users understand and follow standards. Headquarters are in Bristol and Nottingham.

MCA helicopter flying along the coat

MCA facilitates international maritime trade through development and delivery of Government’s maritime safety strategy as well as security and environmental standards. MCA’s headquarters are in Southampton with operational sites across the UK coastline. 3500 volunteers supplementing the workforce.

VCA sign on office wall

VCA is the UK approval authority for new types of road vehicles, tractors and off-road vehicles. The agency provides testing and certification for vehicles. Headquarters are in Bristol.