HS2 commissioner to liaise with public during Midlands phase
An independent construction commissioner will oversee the phase of the HS2 building project which affects the Midlands, including Woore in Shropshire.
Homeowners and businesses affected by the construction of HS2 between the West Midlands and Crewe will have access to impartial advice after the Department for Transport extended the independent construction commissioner’s role to cover Phase 2a of the project.
Sir Mark Worthington OBE will now have responsibility for managing issues and relationships between HS2 Ltd and individuals or bodies relating to construction work on both Phase 1, from London to Birmingham, and Phase 2a, West Midlands to Crewe.
Woore, near Market Drayton, will be affected by construction traffic supporting HS2 if the rail project goes ahead.
In his extended role, the independent construction commissioner will work with communities, businesses and individuals along the West Midlands to Crewe route to improve engagement between building contractors and local communities.
His focus will be resolving complaints relating to construction issues, as well as providing advice to members of the public on how they can raise concerns with HS2 Ltd.
MP Andrew Stephenson, whose responsibilities include HS2, said: “The independent construction commissioner adds important oversight to this project by ensuring there is a constructive and positive relationship between HS2 Ltd, its contractors and local communities. It also ensures all building-related decisions adhere to best practice, as set out by the department.
“I have no doubt Sir Mark will continue his impressive work as commissioner, helping to develop constructive engagement between all parties and ensure HS2 is a good neighbour to all as it constructs this vital railway.”
Sir Mark was appointed commissioner for Phase 1 in 2018. He has more than 20 years of experience working with government and leading politicians both in the UK and abroad — including as Margaret Thatcher’s private secretary from 1992 to 2013.
He said: "I am grateful to the HS2 Minister and Secretary of State for extending my remit to cover Phase 2a of the HS2 project. It makes considerable sense at this time and I look forward to the renewed challenges."