New HS2 chairman appointed after Sir Terry Morgan resigns

6 December 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

Allan Cook (Image: WS Atkins)

The government has appointed a new chairman of HS2, following the widely expected resignation of Sir Terry Morgan from his roles as Crossrail and HS2 chairman.

Speculation grew last week that Sir Terry would resign after the £55.7bn HS2 project was criticised for being too expensive and environmentally damaging, while Crossrail is running around a year behind schedule.

Sir Terry was chairman of Crossrail for almost a decade, throughout the project’s construction. However, he only became chairman of HS2 in August this year.

The government has announced that former WS Atkins chairman Allan Cook will become the new chair of HS2. A successor for Sir Terry on Crossrail will be announced “in due course”.

Cook is a chartered engineer with more than 40 years’ experience in the infrastructure, automotive, aerospace, and defence industry. He has previously served as co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership, chair of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, as a director of JF Lehman and Company.  He was also chair of WS Atkins, Leonardo UK, and deputy chair of Marshalls Group. He served as the CEO of Cobham from 2000 to 2009.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “Sir Terry has been an integral part of Crossrail for almost a decade and I would like to thank him for his dedication and the expertise he brought to the role. I am also grateful to him for his work as chair of HS2.”

Allan Cook said: “It is a privilege to be asked to take on this crucial role on UK’s biggest infrastructure project. HS2 will transform Britain through the creation of jobs and skills across UK industry. It will improve connectivity and passenger experience as well as creating value for the UK economy.

“HS2 has made impressive progress in the past 18 months – with 7,000 highly skilled people currently working on this project. The regeneration of the West Midlands and Curzon Street in Birmingham are now well underway.

“I’m looking forward to working with Mark Thurston [HS2 chief executive], his team and our partners, getting ready for the next few years when we will be making significant progress on building HS2 for the future.”

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