HS2 second phase chief leaves as DfT confirms legislation delay
Project chief says “changes of personnel and leadership are inevitable” given project’s long timescale and global demand for talent
Proposed HS2 station at Euston Photo: Grimshaw Architects/PA Wire
HS2 has lost its the managing director for the project’s second phase, after part of this was stalled for at least a year by the Department for Transport.
Paul Griffiths, who was in charge of HS2’s second phase, is leaving to become programme director on the Metrolinx project in Toronto, the largest public transport investment in Canadian history.
He joined HS2 in 2015 and according to Cabinet Office figures from last autumn was paid in a range from £190,000 to £194,999.
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His decision to leave comes as the Department for Transport confirmed it had delayed the legislation for HS2’s phase 2b extensions from Birmingham to Leeds and Crewe to Manchester to ensure it “takes full account of the emerging vision for the other transformative project of Northern Powerhouse Rail”.
Phase 1 of the line will run from London to the West Midlands, while an initial second phase will run from onto Crewe, before the second phase is completed in two legs to Manchester and Leeds.
Confirming Griffiths’ departure, HS2 chair Sir Terry Morgan said: “Given its sheer scale and duration, changes of personnel and leadership are inevitable in a project such as HS2, particularly given the global demand for talented and experienced engineers such as Paul, but our focus remains on delivering a railway for the long term future of this country. And that we will do.”
HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said phase 2b was well advanced and a working draft environmental statement for Phase 2b would be published later this autumn.
The second leg of HS2 will cities in the north and remains on track to open in 2033, according to the DfT. “We will update Parliament as part of our consultation this autumn."
Northern Powerhouse Rail – previously known as HS3 – is intended to link northern cities east-west from Liverpool to Hull.
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