Latest Rail News

03.12.18

Sir Terry Morgan ‘expects to be sacked’ as HS2 chairman over Crossrail delays

Sir Terry Morgan has said he expects to be sacked as chairman of HS2 in the next few days after taking up the role only four months ago.

Speaking on the early evening news programme on BBC Radio 4, Morgan said there was disappointment at Westminster about the big delays plaguing Crossrail as the project runs over budget and at least nine months behind schedule.

As the chairman of the struggling Elizabeth Line project, it was reported on Friday that Theresa May was expected to move against Morgan, who was dubbed as “world-class” by Chris Grayling when appointed as HS2 boss in July.

First reported by the Financial Times, it is thought that both Grayling and Philip Hammond had declared they had no confidence in Morgan’s leadership and urged May to remove him.

A government official close to HS2 was quoted in the FT as saying: “They told the prime minister they have no confidence in him and she agrees. It is only a question of finding the right moment to announce it.”

On Saturday, speaking in an interview with the BBC, Sir Terry revealed he expected to be removed from his HS2 role in the coming days and that he had “mixed feelings.”

Morgan explained: “I can only assume that because HS2 is such a critically important programme and with the sense of disappointment around the performance of Crossrail, that it was considered to be too risky for a programme like HS2 to continue in my role as chairman.”

He said he was “disappointed” that he would no longer have the opportunity to give his experience and knowledge to HS2 and that he had a “sense of responsibility or contribution to the position in terms of Crossrail.”

Work on HS2, the £55.7bn high-speed rail network which will connect London to Birmingham and Manchester to Leeds, is already underway with Birmingham’s Curzon Street station the latest construction bid to be announced.

Phase 1 of HS2 between London and Birmingham is due to open in 2026, with Phase Two projected to be finished by 2032-33, and the government is keen to avoid any delays to this time-scale as seen with Crossrail.

Morgan called HS2 a “fantastic programme that has huge potential,” but it will be a big challenge to deliver it.

He added that it did not have the “same difficulties” as completing Crossrail, which was due to open in December but has since been delayed till autumn 2019 and was last month handed a £350m government short-term loan in order to prevent further delays.

Morgan is said to have angered London mayor Sadiq Khan, who himself has been embroiled with controversy regarding Crossrail.

Image credit -  Ben Birchall/PA Wire/PA Images

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Government’s role in new passenger-centric railway ‘will have to change’, says Williams Review lead

21/03/2019Government’s role in new passenger-centric railway ‘will have to change’, says Williams Review lead

The man leading the Williams Rail Review has warned that the government’s role in the UK railways “will have to change” as the ... more >
Government promises to look ‘very carefully’ at £218m bid for second Chelmsford station

21/03/2019Government promises to look ‘very carefully’ at £218m bid for second Chelmsford station

The government will look “very carefully” at a £218m funding bid for a new railway station in Chelmsford, Theresa May has said.... more >
Carillion-bound boss appointed to lead Kier

20/03/2019Carillion-bound boss appointed to lead Kier

Kier has appointed Andrew Davies as its new chief executive, two months after the building contractor ousted Hayden Mursell on the back of debt i... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >
Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

22/01/2019Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

In the jigsaw puzzle of regional transport decision-making, there must be collaboration and compromise. Midlands Connect media lead James Bovill ... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

19/03/2019The West Midlands 30-year strategy

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), outlines the West Midlands Rail Investment Strategy 2018-2047. Th... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >
East West Rail: the next steps

19/03/2019East West Rail: the next steps

In January, five route options for the central section of East West Rail were published as part of a public consultation on the next phase of the... more >
Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

19/03/2019Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

Jonathan Bray, director at the Urban Transport Group (UTG), argues that transit-oriented developments are the future – and that rail has a ... more >