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Highways Agency appoints new chairman

The Highways Agency has appointed a new non-executive chairman.

Colin Matthews, former chief executive officer of Heathrow Airport Holdings, will take over the role ahead of the agency’s transformation into a government-owned company.

He will take up his post on 1 September 2014, and will be paid £130,000, for a minimum of 78 days’ work a year. This is an increase in both remuneration and time commitment.

Matthews joins the Highways Agency after more than six years at the helm at BAA, which was renamed as Heathrow Airports Holdings in 2012.

He previously worked at British Airways and Transco, before becoming group CEO of Hays, and then taking the same role at Severn Trent.

He will take over the post of chair of the Highways Agency from Alan Cook, who has been in the job since January 2011.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “I would like to thank Alan Cook for all of his hard work during the course of his appointment – both at the Highways Agency and for the 5½ years’ dedicated service he has provided to the department board. Alan has provided wise advice and challenge to the executive at the Highways Agency and has paved the way for the transformation on which the Agency is now embarking.

“Colin Matthews’ appointment demonstrates the commitment we have to revolutionising our roads. His strong business record will give the new strategic highways company the leadership and focus on customer service it needs, which means taxpayers and road users will get a network fit for the future economic demands of this country.”

Colin Matthews said: “I am delighted to be taking up the chair of the Highways Agency. Roads matter to drivers and the economy. My focus will be on making them work better.

“Long-term stable investment will mean that all road users will be better able to get to their destination safely and quickly‎.”

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