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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