HS2 train

HS2 appoints new board members ‘to heighten oversight’


Grant Shapps announced this week the appointment of three non-executive directors to the HS2 board to heighten oversight and scrutiny of the UK’s high speed rail project.

Elaine Holt, Ian King and Tom Harris will respectively take up the roles of infrastructure specialist, government representative and community engagement leader, to develop the way that HS2 Ltd is governed and instil greater management of the project.  

These new appointments are the latest step in the government’s commitment to reset the HS2 programme, progress the leadership team, and deliver greater accountability to guarantee decisions made by the company deliver on the government’s priorities.

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Ian King will represent the government’s interests on the HS2 Ltd board, bringing with him more than 2 decades of senior leadership and project delivery experience. He will offer advice to the HS2 Ltd board on the government’s approach to issues and will report to the Transport Secretary and HS2 Andrew Stephenson.

Elaine Holt joins as a railway and infrastructure specialist, having had experience in executive and non-executive roles in the transport sector, project delivery and railway operations.

Tom Harris, a former parliamentarian, will heighten the company’s focus on community engagement, further ensuring that those impacted by the project continue to be listened to and treated with the respect they deserve.

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Allan Cook CBE, Chair of HS2 Ltd said: “I am looking forward to working with Elaine, Tom and Ian as they join the board of HS2 Ltd. The scale and complexity of the next phase of the project, which is already making a vital contribution by supporting thousands of jobs all over the country, requires increased levels of expertise and oversight to further strengthen the excellent experience we have on the board.

“Elaine, Tom and Ian have a huge wealth of experience in each of their specialist areas. I am certain they will make a valuable contribution to the success of the HS2 project as we progress through the construction phase and ensure that, with the other members of the board, we meet our commitments to government and UK taxpayers.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “When we gave HS2 the go-ahead, we made a clear commitment to draw a line under past problems and to move forward with a strong grip of the project and a laser-like focus on cost control and transparency.

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“The appointments of Elaine Holt, Tom Harris and Ian King to the Board of HS2 Ltd will deliver on this promise and ensure this vital project has the robust leadership it requires as it drives our country’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and delivers better connectivity to level up communities across the north and Midlands.”

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About the Author

Sam Hewitt