Press release

Douglas Oakervee appointed as new chair of HS2 Ltd

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Douglas Oakervee has been appointed as the chair of HS2 Ltd, the independent company set up to deliver a high speed rail network.

Douglas Oakervee has been appointed as the new chair of HS2 Ltd, the independent company set up by the government to deliver a high speed rail network between London and the north of England. He will commence working with the HS2 Ltd team in April.

Mr Oakervee has had a long and distinguished career, with significant experience of working on major infrastructure projects. Between 2005 and 2009 he was Executive Chairman of Crossrail Ltd during the project’s Hybrid Bill phase. He has also been a Project Director at Chek Lap Kok International Airport in Hong Kong, with responsibility for planning, design procurement and construction.

As Chair of HS2 Ltd, Mr Oakervee’s primary responsibilities will be:

  • formulating the Board’s strategy
  • ensuring that the Board, in reaching decisions across its full remit including the route design and environmental assessment, takes proper account of guidance provided by the Department for Transport or the Secretary of State for Transport
  • encouraging high standards of regularity and propriety
  • promoting HS2 to the general public

The appointment is for a period of 3 to 5 years, however re-appointment is possible, if mutually agreed, to a maximum of 10 years. The salary range for this post is £120,000 to £140,000, with the new Chair expected to spend at least 2 days per week in HS2 Ltd’s offices in central London.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening said:

HS2 is a railway which will transform the economic shape of the UK, so finding the right person for this role is vital. I am delighted that Doug has agreed to take on this important position, bringing with him decades of experience of working on major infrastructure projects. The next few years include a number of key challenges and milestones for this project and Doug’s input will be invaluable as we move forward. I would also like to thank the current Chair, Brian Briscoe, for his invaluable work in leading HS2 Ltd this far.

Doug Oakervee said:

I am excited about my appointment and passionate about the development of UK’s high-speed rail network and HS2 is a great step forward. I believe that HS2 offers a unique chance to address the capacity issues facing the British transport network and to promote growth in our major cities. I will use my experience of the Hybrid Bill process at Crossrail to ensure that HS2 Ltd is best able to efficiently navigate this stage of the project.

Notes to editors

This appointment falls within the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments and will be made in accordance with the ‘Code of practice for ministerial appointments to public bodies’.

All appointments are made on merit, and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for an appointees’ political activity (if any is declared) to be made public. Doug declared that he has no political activity.

HS2 Ltd is an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB). It was also established as a Companies Act company, limited by guarantee, on 14 January 2009. It has a sole member, the Secretary of State for Transport, for whom it is remitted to undertake work.

HS2 Ltd is funded from the public purse by grants-in-aid. The company’s objective was to ‘advise the Secretary of State for Transport on the development of proposals for a new railway line from London to the West Midlands and potentially beyond’.

Following a decision by the Secretary of State for Transport to proceed with a London to West Midlands route, the remit has extended to:

  • undertake further work and provide advice to enable the department to deposit a hybrid Bill with Parliament in October 2013, in order to gain Royal Assent by May 2015, in respect of the London to West Midlands line
  • the delivery of a safe and affordable route design; assessment of the environmental impacts of this design and production of the Environmental Statement; and, the consultation with all relevant bodies on aspects of the proposals
  • developing routes from the West Midlands to Leeds, with a connection to the East Coast Main Line, and to Manchester, with a connection to the West Coast Main Line, and a spur to Heathrow, to include appropriate engineering designs and sustainability appraisal and the implications for the whole Y network
  • prepare materials and provide advice to develop and inform future consultations

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