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Crossrail and HS2 chairman Sir Terry Morgan resigns

Crossrail and HS2 chairman Sir Terry Morgan has resigned, the government and mayor of London have confirmed.

Sir Terry, who had speculated over his own departure in the media earlier this week, has resigned from his role on both infrastructure projects.

The Department for Transport has appointed Allan Cook as the new chair of HS2. It added that a successor on Crossrail would be announced in due course.

Sir Terry joined HS2 in August and was due to step down from Crossrail in March. He had come under pressure due to cost issues with both projects.

Crossrail has faced particular scrutiny in recent months after it was revealed that the project will cost £590m more than originally estimated.

Commenting on the resignation, transport minister 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, [new chair] Allan Cook CBE is the right person to oversee the project as it progresses towards full construction.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I would like to thank Sir Terry for serving as Crossrail chair since 2009.

“For a while now I have had concerns about the effectiveness of Crossrail Ltd’s governance.

“Not only was I angry when Crossrail Ltd informed us that the project would be delayed, but historically there has been a lack of adequate information shared by the senior Crossrail leadership with the project’s joint sponsors – namely, the Department for Transport and Transport for London.

“Under new leadership, Crossrail must provide the joint sponsors and Londoners with the confidence that it has robust mechanisms in place to deliver a revised schedule, operating with a renewed sense of urgency and transparency across all parts of the project.

“This is essential to ensure this hugely important project is completed as soon as possible, moving through its final stages in a well-managed way – minimising the risk of further delay and ensuring every penny of public money is appropriately spent and accounted for.”

New HS2 chairman Mr Cook is a former chair of Atkins who has worked in the infrastructure, automotive, aerospace and defence industries.

His public sector experience includes serving as co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership, and as the lead non-executive director advising the then Department of Business, Innovation and Skills under the coalition government. 

Earlier this week it was revealed that the mayor of London had called for Sir Terry’s resignation in September after the full implications of the cost overruns on Crossrail emerged.

Construction News understands that deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander and Transport for London commissioner Mike Brown met with Sir Terry in September, telling him the mayor had “lost confidence in him because the information he was giving the mayor was inaccurate”, the mayor’s spokesperson said.

The revelations came as Sir Terry used an interview on the BBC’s Today programme to say he expected the cost of Crossrail to increase further, and to allege that TfL knew of problems on the project up to eight months ago.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Let's hope that since he has resigned he will not be receiving any payments other than the salary he was entitled to and will work his notice as other employees are required to do.

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  • It is highly likely the unacceptable cost over runs are, in part, a direct result of the unnecessary layers of bureaucracy imposed on contractors (and sub-contractors) on both these projects. If Sir Terry is the architect of this environment then his departure is more than justified and probably too late.

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