HS2 appoints 45-people independent design panel

HS2 Ltd has finished recruiting its independent design panel that will support and advise the project on key design principles.

The panel – chaired by Sadie Morgan, who is also part of the government's £100bn National Infrastructure Commission led by Lord Adonis – will help deliver HS2’s design based around the principles of ‘people, place and time’.

Experts in the panel hail from backgrounds in urban, landscape, EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion), digital, brand and product design.

They will work alongside architects, sustainability experts and engineering specialists to guide HS2’s development.

Simon Kirby, HS2 Ltd boss, said: “It’s a mark of HS2’s significance that it’s attracted such a wealth of talent to help us deliver this transformational piece of infrastructure for the national.

Forty-five experts will form the independent design panel team, contributing to the project’s development in areas where their specialist experience and opinion is required.”

And Robert Goodwill, transport minister, said the highly-skilled group will ensure travelling on the high-speed line, once ready, will make travelling “easy and pleasurable”, with trains guaranteed to stop at “impressive stations”.

Members will also form part of the regional site-specific design panels, such as at Birmingham Curzon Street station, to ensure the whole project benefits from their range of skills.

Morgan, who had already been appointed chair in July when the panel recruitment was launched, said today: “I am delighted that we’re now up and running with the HS2 independent design panel. Our aim is to mentor and inspire HS2 to design a transformational railway system which will exceed all of our expectations.

“The British creative and engineering industry is already delivering outstanding examples of design excellence around the world. HS2 is a huge opportunity to bring that brilliance home.”

She is also part of the government's new £100bn National Infrastructure commission 

As planned in July, the panel is expected to begin working from autumn this year.

The government believes that cementing the project’s design vision so early on in its development will provide a head-start in rebalancing the economy.

It will build on similar successes where far-sighted design approaches were implemented early on, such as with London’s Olympic Park – where design focused on the long-term development and sustainability of the site, as well as on the Games’ legacy.

(Top image: Sadie Morgan, c. dRMM)


John   10/11/2015 at 11:40

I just hope that this isn't going to be another 45 clones of the graduate idiots that we seem to be saddled with currently in the rail industry. What we need despreately is some good, old fashioned Common Sense - a rare commodity!!

Strawbrick   10/11/2015 at 13:44

A committee of 45 people - Who they? What are their qualifications? How much will they be paid? how big will the support / admin team be? How much will they cost? etc etc etc

Gb   10/11/2015 at 16:12

Wouldn't this money would be better spent on the NHS, the Police, welfare, etc., and targetted developments of our existing rail system to improve connectivity and capacity for everyone? Heaven knows we could all cite where this money would be better spent - MPs (and their constituents) are crying out for funding of worthy causes and I'll bet none of them would have thought this was a better way to spend our limited resources! Please let's have some more common sense!

Tony   10/11/2015 at 16:31

There was a time that one employed a design consultant to do the design. Is our new president of ICE, Sir John Armitr, now saying that professional chartered engineers within the design consultant and construction industry cannot be trusted to do their job as trusted experts? Or is this the establishment elite creating yet more quangos. I wonder if the panel members had to compete for the role? Or were they just given the job!

Adam   10/11/2015 at 21:17

All aboard the taxpayer funded quango nice work,sorry laying about getting wellpaid for doing nothing,if you can get it!.......

K   11/11/2015 at 01:21

RTM quoted "HS2 has begun recruiting up to 30 design experts of different disciplines to oversee the design development of the railway" So already this project of 45 experts is spending over 150% in resources !

Geordie   12/11/2015 at 21:15

Have I missed something? Has the Hs2 project been given parliamentary approval then? It must have if all this money is now being earmarked, and a committee of 45 (!) set up

J   13/11/2015 at 13:43

It would more convincing if the announcement was accompanied by the budget allocated and some measure of their contribution. Otherwise all the other comments are totally valid waste of tax payers money - why 45 and not 5 or a version of cloud funding of ideas/contributions to be sorted by appropriate engineers and academics

Nonsuchmike   15/11/2015 at 15:28

An executive or advisory committee should, ideally, be composed of three people from different backgrounds and with relevant if not complementary skills. In any event it should certainly not exceed five persons. What price the Gravy Train for the extra 40 bods? Yes, there should be other specific advisors, for example on the style of architecture for a station, but when it comes to the line of the route and fundamental things like underpasses, bridges, cuttings, green tunnels, ancillary structures, etc, then you need the fewer the better on such a committee. From all these delays, over-runs, under fundings and "push-backs", methinks the current Government is getting cold feet when it comes to delivering on almost any train related project, large or small, if it doesn't have the words "Crossrail" in the title!

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