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HS2 boss quits as construction bill is delayed

Hs2

The man overseeing Phase Two of High Speed 2 (HS2) will leave the company at the end of the year.

HS2 Phase Two managing director Paul Griffiths has quit the company in order to lead the programme management team on the £25bn Metrolink job in Toronto, Canada.

The news comes after it was revealed that legislation to build the second phase of HS2 is set to be delayed by a year.

HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said: “Phase Two has come a long way under Paul’s leadership. 2a, the section from Birmingham to Crewe, is already in Parliament and is on course to receive Royal Assent next year.

“Phase 2b, the section from Birmingham to Leeds and from Crewe to Manchester, is well advanced in terms of its preparation for Parliament, particularly how it integrates with the existing network and the plans of Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“The working draft environmental statement for 2b will be published later this autumn. We are grateful to Paul for the progress he has made with Phase 2 and wish him and his family well in their new adventure.”

Griffiths added: “Seeing HS2 move considerably closer to reality has been a privilege and will always have a special place in my career. HS2 is vital for the future of Britain and I will always be proud to have been part of its development.” 

The Department for Transport confirmed that it is pushing back the bill needed to begin work on the second section of the network between Manchester and Leeds to take account of Northern Powerhouse Rail linking Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle.

The bill enabling the works for Phase 2b between Manchester and Leeds will now be tabled in 2020. However, the government insists that this will have no bearing on the final completion date.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Philip Alexander

    Let's hope that it's a permanent and fatal delay.
    If this useless government has got the odd £100 BILLION loose change in their sock drawer then spend it on sensible infrastructure.
    I am so disappointed that the ICE slavishly supports any grand vanity project just because it would provide work for its members. It should be critically analysing any mega project for its social and economic value to the country.
    We expect that sort of leadership from our Institution and provision of sane advice to government. Instead, the senior Council members are only interested in navel gazing and reorganising themselves. Get back to basics.

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  • HS2 is sensible infrastructure for the growing long distance travel market and the Government has sensible plans to integrate HS2 into the conventional rail network.
    Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) projects show much promise, but are not yet sufficiently developed to be fully integrated with HS2. Full integration is worth spending another year planning both projects.

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