The government has announced Allan Cook, a former chair of Atkins, will succeed Sir Terry Morgan as the new chair of HS2 Ltd.
It comes as the government also revealed that Morgan had officially stepped down from his roles of chair of both Crossrail and HS2. A successor for the position of Crossrail chair will be announced as the project moves from construction to testing.
Commenting on the latest appointment and Morgan’s departure, 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 Ltd. HS2 is the country’s biggest infrastructure project and, with his wealth of experience, Allan Cook CBE is the right person to oversee the project as it progresses towards full construction.”
Cook is a chartered engineer with more than 40 years’ international experience in the infrastructure, automotive, aerospace and defence industries.
His experience is said to include serving as co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership, chair of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, as a director of JF Lehman and Company, and as a former lead non-executive director for the then-Department of Business, Innovation and Skills under the coalition government. Among his other senior posts, he was also chair of WS Atkins Plc, Leonardo UK, and deputy chair of Marshalls Group.
Commenting on his appointment, Cook said he was looking forward to working with the HS2 team in getting ready for the next few years and attempting to make significant progress.
“It is a privilege to be asked to take on this crucial role on UK’s biggest infrastructure project,” he added. “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.”
Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “I and the Railway Industry Association would like to thank Sir Terry for his hard work and commitment to improving the UK’s railway network both as chair of Crossrail and HS2 Ltd. Sir Terry has always been an avid supporter of the rail supply community and has worked hard to ensure we have a rail system ready to meet the challenges of the future. He is also an enthusiastic promoter of rail as a career choice for young people, and spent much of his time helping to get a new, young and diverse workforce into the industry. We wish him all the best for the future.”