Sir Terry Morgan resigns as chairman of HS2 Ltd and Crossrail Ltd

Helen Coffey
Sir Terry Morgan has headed up Crossrail for more than a decade: PA

Sir Terry Morgan has resigned as chairman of HS2 Ltd and Crossrail Ltd, the Department for Transport has said.

Allan Cook has been confirmed as the new chair of HS2 Ltd. A successor for Sir Terry on Crossrail Ltd will be announced in due course, the government has said.

Sir Terry recently joined HS2 Ltd and was chairman of Crossrail Ltd for almost a decade.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said of the news: “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, Allan Cook CBE is the right person to oversee the project as it progresses towards full construction.”

Allan Cook CBE DSc is a chartered engineer whose previous experience includes serving as co-chair of the Defence Growth Partnership, Chair of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, as a director of JF Lehman and Company, and as a former lead non-executive director for the then-Department of Business, Innovation and Skills under the coalition government.

Other senior posts include chair of WS Atkins Plc, Leonardo UK, and deputy chair of Marshalls Group.

He said: “It is a privilege to be asked to take on this crucial role on UK’s biggest infrastructure project. HS2 will transform Britain through the creation of jobs and skills across UK industry. It will improve connectivity and passenger experience as well as creating value for the UK economy."

The news of Sir Terry’s resignation comes after the London Assembly Transport Committee summoned London Mayor Sadiq Kahn to a hearing about the Crossrail delay, to address “conflicting statements” between himself and Sir Terry.

Mr Khan said he only found out that the opening of the capital’s new east-west railway would be delayed on 29 August, two days before the decision was made public.

Sir Terry insisted earlier this week that Mr Khan was aware of the problems at least a month prior to the announcement.

It is the first time the Transport Committee has used its powers to summon Mr Khan.

He is required to attend an extraordinary meeting of the committee alongside Transport for London (TfL) commissioner Mike Brown on 21 December.

Caroline Pidgeon, the committee’s chairwoman, said: “We are bitterly disappointed that this action is necessary.

”The Transport Committee and the public have put their trust in the mayor that there will be transparency during his administration and he has a duty to make sure this is the case.

“However, in recent weeks and months it has become increasingly clear that when it comes to the Crossrail project he is doing the opposite.

”The mayor must come clean about when he knew about the Crossrail delay. It is essential for the sake of public trust and London democracy.

“The committee has used its power to summons the Mayor of London as chair of TfL and key documents in order to give him a final chance to tell the truth and clear up this sorry mess.”

It was announced on 31 August that Crossrail will open in autumn 2019 rather than December 2018 due to delays in completing infrastructure and testing.

The project’s budget was increased from £14.8bn to £15.4bn in July due to “cost pressures”, and in October the mayor was offered £350m of additional Government funding.