Former Crossrail boss Mark Wild to lead HS2

Former Crossrail boss Mark Wild has taken the top job at HS2 to get the project back on track and bring spiralling costs under control as it enters peak construction.

Wild is widely credited for turning around the budget-busting Crossrail project joining in 2018 successfully to steer it through the complex commissioning phase.

He will join HS2 as chief executive at a pivotal moment in the programme’s delivery.

HS2 and the Government are presently both at odds about how much the phase 1 will actually cost.

The final tunnel drive into London Euston remains in limbo over funding and there are still headaches over the final design and cost of a new connection to the existing West Coast Main Line track at Handsacre, north of Birmingham following the cancellation of phase 2 of HS2 to Manchester.

His appointment forms part of a series of reforms across the project aimed at bearing down on costs and safely delivering the scheme on time, in line with recent scope changes announced by the Government.

Wild’s precise start date is yet to be confirmed. He replaces Mark Thurston who led HS2 Ltd for six-and-a-half years until last September.

Sir Jon Thompson, presently acting as executive chair covering the CEO role, will return to non-executive chairman once Wild takes up his post.

“It is a mark of the scale and ambition of HS2 that we can attract a leader of his calibre,” said Sir Jon

Wild brings almost four decades-worth of experience in the transport and utilities industries to the role.

Most recently he has acted as CEO of SGN, the gas distribution network covering Scotland and the south east of England.

Before that has was CEO of Crossrail for almost four years, leading the project from a crucial juncture in its construction through to successful opening.

Prior to Crossrail, Wild was managing director of the London Underground and was previously chief executive of Public Transport Victoria, the integrated transport authority based in Melbourne, Australia.

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