Posted 12th July 2023 | 1 Comment

HS2 chief executive to stand down

The chief executive of HS2 Ltd Mark Thurston has announced that he will be leaving the company in the autumn, after leading it since March 2017.

He has decided to stand down when the controversial project to build a high speed terminus at London Euston has been put on hold for at least two years, while the costs are reviewed.

He also seen the network cut back from Leeds and Sheffield to East Midlands Parkway.

He said: ‘Leading this organisation has been the highlight of my career and a privilege from the first day – the programme has come such a long way and I want to thank everyone who has worked on the project during my time.  

‘The next 18 to 24 months will see the project move into an exciting new stage. I have agreed with the Board that someone else should lead the organisation and programme through what will be another defining period for HS2.’

Mark Thurston joined the company shortly after the Act of Parliament authorising Phase 1 between London and Birmingham had received Royal Assent.

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: ‘I’d like to thank Mark Thurston for his work over the last six years progressing Britain’s most transformative rail project. As well as successfully overseeing the start of construction, he has ensured HS2 has created tens of thousands of skilled jobs and apprenticeships across the country.

‘As HS2 enters its next phase, the Government remains committed to unlocking all the benefits of this flagship infrastructure scheme – increasing rail capacity, connecting communities and growing the economy.’

HS2 chairman Sir Jon Thompson will become executive chairman for a time from October.

Reader Comments:

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  • John Porter , Leeds

    This is mixed news for Manchester’s objections to HS2’s Piccadilly Station, which requires Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) to reverse at Piccadilly.
    The potential lack of capacity beyond 2050 and environmental impacts have caused tensions between NPR & HS2 culminating in well argued cases at Commons Hybrid Bill hearings in June.
    The new chief executive will have to mend relations whichever way the Commons Committee rules.