Home Company News Shapps appoints three non-executive directors to the HS2 board

Shapps appoints three non-executive directors to the HS2 board

As HS2 enters its construction phase and increases its activity and scale along the route and across the business, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced the appointment of three non-executive directors to the HS2 Board to strengthen oversight and scrutiny of the UK’s largest infrastructure project.

The three new directors, Elaine Holt, Ian King (pictured above) and Tom Harris, will respectively take up the roles of infrastructure specialist, government representative and community engagement leader, to improve the way that HS2 Ltd is managed and instil greater discipline of the project.

These appointments are the latest step in the government’s commitment to reset the HS2 programme, strengthen the leadership team and instil greater accountability to ensure decisions made by the Company deliver on the government’s priorities.

Secretary of State for Transport  Grant Shapps said: “When we gave HS2 the go-ahead, we made a clear commitment to draw a line under past problems and to move forward with a strong grip of the project and a laser-like focus on cost control and transparency.

“The appointments of Elaine Holt, Tom Harris and Ian King to the Board of HS2 Ltd will deliver on this promise and ensure this vital project has the robust leadership it requires as it drives our country’s economic recovery from Covid-19 and delivers better connectivity to level up communities across the North and Midlands.”

Ian King will represent the government’s interests on the HS2 Ltd board, bringing with him more than two decades of senior leadership and project delivery experience. He will provide advice to the HS2 Ltd Board on the Government’s approach to issues and will report to the Transport Secretary and HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson.

Elaine Holt joins as a railway and infrastructure specialist, having had experience in executive and non-executive roles in the transport sector, project delivery and railway operations.

Tom Harris, a former parliamentarian, will strengthen the company’s focus on community engagement, further ensuring that those impacted by the project continue to be listened to and treated with the respect they deserve.

Allan Cook CBE, chair of HS2 Ltd, added: “I am looking forward to working with Elaine, Tom and Ian as they join the board of HS2 Ltd. The scale and complexity of the next phase of the project – which is already making a vital contribution by supporting thousands of jobs all over the country – requires increased levels of expertise and oversight to further strengthen the excellent experience we have on the Board.

“Elaine, Tom and Ian have a huge wealth of experience in each of their specialist areas. I am certain they will make a valuable contribution to the success of the HS2 project as we progress through the construction phase and ensure that, with the other members of the Board, we meet our commitments to Government and UK taxpayers.”

Photo credit: BAE Systems

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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