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Sir David Higgins to chair HS2

Outgoing Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins is to be the new chair of HS2 Ltd.

He will take over from Douglas Oakervee from the beginning of 2014, following the introduction of the Hybrid Bill for HS2 this year, the DfT has announced

Network Rail announced that Mark Carne would replace Sir David as chief executive in August. Sir David started the position in 2011 and was expected to stay longer.

He will start as HS2 chair for one day a week in January, moving to full time in March for six months at a salary of £295,000. Then his hours will be cut to three days a week on an annual salary of £240,000 with no provision for a bonus.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The appointment of Sir David Higgins to replace Doug Oakervee ensures that we will continue to have leaders at the heart of HS2 who have a track record of delivery.

“His experience at both Network Rail and as chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority – where he oversaw construction of the magnificent Olympic Park, a legacy which will be enjoyed by generations – will be essential to ensure we deliver HS2 on time and on budget.”

Sir David said: “I am delighted to be taking up this role. Working at Network Rail I know the challenges we have ahead with capacity on the railways – they are real and we need to take action now. I also know the significant benefits that improved journey times between our northern cities will bring not just to the north, but the UK economy as a whole.

“HS2 is the right solution. It is vital for both passengers and the economy and will put the UK in a different league in terms of infrastructure. My first priority will be to rigorously scrutinise costs to ensure they remain under control.”

HS2 Ltd chairman Doug Oakervee said: “I believe HS2 is vital to the growth of the UK economy and will deliver the capacity our rail network sorely needs. Sir David is the right man to continue the delivery of this project. I am delighted at his appointment and am confident that alongside Alison Munro our chief executive he will continue to drive the scheme forward.

“I am proud of all that I have achieved, particularly that we will be bringing the Hybrid Bill to Parliament by the end of the year, after which I will be standing down. I am pleased to have been able to play a key role in delivering this project which will serve the country for many generations to come.”

Chief executive of HS2 Ltd Alison Munro said: “Doug Oakervee has been an inspirational chairman who brought industry knowledge and a proven track record of delivering large, complex rail projects to his tenure at HS2 Ltd. In David Higgins, HS2 Ltd has secured a proven leader with drive, passion and experience.

“Our new chairman will bring with him a fantastic track record of delivery thanks to the success of the London Olympic Games. My team and I look forward to working with him as we move into the next chapter of delivering this vital project.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


Nonsuchmike   27/09/2013 at 16:34

Doug Oakervee has undertaken a lot of mainframe planning and overseen as much detail as was possible. Well done, Douglas. Now Sir David has to take the project into the real world and sell the benefits to all regions of increased capacity, interconnectivity and reduced freight charges @ increased availability. Not an easy target with financial restraints real and perceived as they currently are. Good luck to both over the coming months and years.

Ian Fleck   10/11/2016 at 20:58

after watching tonite i have come to the conclusion you are the most arrogant prick i have ever met,you have no concerns for anything or anyone but yourself ,you are a bloody dosgrace to humanity and would not like to meet me even though i am 74

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