Latest Rail News


HS2 appoints interim construction commissioner

HS2 has appointed an interim commissioner to mediate in disputes arising from the construction of the high-speed rail.

Gareth Epps’ role will include ensuring that people affected by HS2 know who the construction commissioner is and what they do, mediating in unresolved disputes between HS2 Ltd and individuals or bodies, including claims under the Small Claims Scheme.

He will also provide advice on how to make complaints, and also monitor complaints in order to support HS2 in reducing the overall number.

Epps said: “Urban and rural communities will see construction and while HS2 Ltd and its contractors will take steps to minimise disruption, it is important that residents and businesses along the route know they can seek fair and independent resolution of complaints if necessary.”

He previously worked as community relations policy manager at Crossrail from 2005 to 2015, Green Issues Communications and as a communications officer for the Liberal Democrats.

Simon Kirby, chief executive of HS2 Ltd, said: “We recognise that people will be affected by the construction of the line and are thoroughly committed to ensuring that those people are treated fairly and all practicable measures are taken to minimise disruption.

“Improving our approach to affected communities is at the very top of our priority list. We are continuously striving to refine our complaints handling and improve community engagement. The appointment of an independent Construction Commissioner is a key part of that process.

 “We have recently made improvements to our complaints procedure and we aim to respond to any complaint in a fair and timely fashion but it is important that people can have their issue considered by an impartial party if they don’t feel it’s been satisfactorily resolved.”

Reports from Ian Bynoe, the former Independent Police Complaints Commissioner, and the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, have found significant failings in HS2’s handling of complaints by six families.

The DfT is now reviewing HS2’s plans for improving its community management.

This week Cllr Sarah Hayward, the leader of Camden County Council, accused HS2 of failing to involve Camden residents in a consultation on how to reduce the impact of developments on the Hampstead Road Bridge.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


Rail industry Focus

  • 27/01/2020ORR launch signalling systems market study

    The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has today (Jan 27) opened a market study into the supply of rail signalling systems. The study will aim to examine issues within the rail signalling marketplace and...
  • 23/01/2020Innovation and Safety - David Clarke, RIA

    Source: RTM Dec 19/Jan 20   David Clarke, Technical Director, Railway Industry Association talks us through the ways innovation can be used to make the railway even safer. In a safety critical...
View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >