The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has been bolstered with the appointment of an expert commissioner - and more are expected to follow.
Neale Coleman CBE (pictured) was appointed NIC Commissioner until April 2022. He is currently director and founding partner at Blackstock Partnerships Limited.
Prior to this, Mr Neale worked at the Greater London Authority from 2000 to 2015, leading the mayor’s work on London’s Olympic bid, the delivery of the Games and their regeneration legacy, and was a board member of the Olympic Delivery Authority throughout its life.
Mr Neale co-chaired the Olympic Delivery Group and was appointed CBE in the New Year Honours 2013 for services to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Professor Sir Tim Besley, Professor Sadie Morgan and Bridget Rosewell have also been reappointed as NIC Commissioners for a further five-year term.
A competition for additional new commissioners to add to the NIC’s expertise will also be launched in the coming months.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak, said: 'Infrastructure investment in the right projects, being built better and faster than before, is key to our economic recovery.
'The National Infrastructure Commission is an essential part in this effort, and these appointments will ensure that it has the right expertise to succeed.'
Tim Besley CBE is School Professor of Economics and Political Science and W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics at the LSE. He was a co-chair of the LSE growth commission.
Sadie Morgan OBE, BA (HONS), MA (RCA), FRSA is a co-founding director at the award-winning practice, dRMM Architects. She became the youngest and only the third ever female President of the Architectural Association in 2013. In March 2015, she was appointed as design chair for HS2.
Bridget Rosewell OBE, CBE, MA, MPhil, FICE was appointed chair of the Independent Review into Planning Appeal Inquiries in June 2018.
Renowned civil engineer Lord Robert Mair CBE has been lined up as chair of the delivery company for the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM).
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority said Lord Mair is recognised internationally as an authority on major infrastructure projects involving tunnelling.
It added that business case work completed so far on the CAM has identified tunnels under Cambridge city centre as a key component of creating a joined-up, world-leading regional public transport network.
At its 30 September meeting, the combined authority board will be recommended to appoint Lord Mair as chair of the CAM Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) board.
Lord Mair is Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering and director of research at the University of Cambridge and was president of the Institution of Civil Engineers from 2017-18.
He sits as chair of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Science Advisory Council, providing independent scientific and technical advice to DfT on all matters relating to road, rail, marine and aviation.
Since 2015, he has sat as an independent crossbench member of the Lords and is a member of its Select Committee on Science and Technology.
He said: ‘I grew up, went to school and graduated in Cambridge, returning to the university in 1998 after 27 years in industry. With this background I have a very strong affection and affiliation with this great city and the region.
‘The vision for CAM is exciting. A flexible, innovative system will be essential in creating the better transport future the region needs and deserves, while also delivering the decarbonised journeys needed to help safeguard the environment.
‘The unprecedented effects of a global pandemic have also caused a significant shift in how people travel, which must also be factored into any new transport scheme.’
Combined authority mayor James Palmer said: ‘It is a testament to the ambition, importance and the pioneering nature of CAM that Lord Robert Mair has agreed to be put forward for recommendation as our first SPV board chair.
‘His Cambridge roots will I’m sure add an extra sense of connection to this project and his highly relevant experience and access to extensive networks across industry and academia will help us push CAM forward at pace.’
Former Crossrail chief executive Simon Wright OBE has been appointed to support the development of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM).
Mr Wright joins the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority on a part-time consultancy basis, to provide strategic input to the development of a ‘One CAM’ strategy which aims to bring the programme’s component projects together in an integrated scheme.
Simon Wright OBE
The authority described him as ‘a civil engineer and senior executive with more than 40 years’ experience delivering multi-billion pound infrastructure programmes’.
Mr Wright’s previous experience includes as programme director for Crossrail Ltd between July 2014 and March 2018, after which he was briefly chief executive until stepping down in November 2018, part of the fall out of emerging delays to the project.
Between 2013 and 2014, Mr Wright was Network Rail project development director, responsible for the £3bn redevelopment of Euston station. He was director of infrastructure and utilities at the Olympic Delivery Authority for six years leading up to London 2012.
Mr Wright is currently a non-executive director of the Restoration and Renewal Delivery Authority Ltd, a special purpose company set up to deliver the restoration of the Houses of Parliament. He is also a non-executive board member of the sponsor board for the project.
Mr Wright said: ‘This is a highly innovative, bespoke transport concept for the region and there are few other systems in the world quite like it. But the method of delivery, through an special purpose vehicle, is very familiar and my job will be to challenge how the CAM develops in a positive way.
‘That means asking the right, and sometimes difficult, questions to ensure that the assumptions that the scheme are based on are always sound and that the innovative thinking required also leads to cost effective and efficient delivery of a reliable system.’
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor James Palmer said: ‘CAM is one of the biggest infrastructure projects in the UK and a world-first. We need leading people who can combine the bold new thinking necessary with a clear-eyed focus on practical delivery. Simon’s role will be to challenge and improve how CAM is developed.
He added: ‘Harnessing and deploying the right expertise and talent at the right time will be critical to building the CAM. We are now working to recruit an outstanding chair and board for our new SPV and we expect to attract more leading minds locally, nationally and globally because of the innovative nature of this scheme.’
The presidency of the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) has been officially handed over to Stephen Webb, who will serve until June 2022.
The handover took place during the IHE’s Annual General Meeting, which was held as virtual meeting on Wednesday 29th July 2020. Outgoing president Jonathan Pearson 'handed over' the chains of office.
Mr Webb (pictured) is an associate with WSP, based in Taunton. He is an Incorporated Engineer, having gained his IEng in 2007 when he also joined the South Western Branch of the IHE, where he has served the branch as Treasurer for the last 13 years.
He said: ‘It is a privilege to become president of the Institute, despite taking the reins in the slightly strange world of a virtual meeting.
‘It is a privilege to take over from Jonathan and I hope I can help steer the Institute through the exceptionally difficult times we are currently facing.’
Mr Webb is head judge for the Highways Awards 2020. Mr Pearson, previously head judge, remains on the judging panel.
The Foundation for Integrated Transport (FIT) has appointed Professor Phil Goodwin and Professor John Whitelegg as its first two Senior Fellows.
The charity said the appointments followed a public competition, which attracted a strong field of excellent applicants. Fellows are not employed by FIT but remain independent and autonomous.
The overall theme of both fellowships is transport and climate change. The fellows are planning a number of specific working papers, events and activities, which will be worked up in more detail over the summer, with further details on the FIT website in the autumn.
Foundation secretary Alastair Hanton said: ‘The Foundation’s vision is for transport as a basic human right, provided with minimum impact on other people’s lives and the environment.
‘We are delighted that these fellowships will support the work of Phil and John – both distinguished scholars who have already made notable contributions to both the theory and practice of sustainable, integrated transport.’
Prof Goodwin plans work on the carbon effects of past and present roads programmes aimed at developing a net-zero compliant sustainable roads strategy; work on road space reallocation arising out of coronavirus pandemic; technical and evidence base used by activists campaigns, both in support of sustainable policies and against unsustainable ones.
He said: ‘FIT is establishing a reputation as a key charity in the transport field, with the fellowships and projects it supports, and indeed in the contributions made by the Trustees themselves.
‘It is an honour to be recognised in this way. The next two years will be of critical importance in developing transport’s contribution to environmental justice and climate protection, and I am looking forward to making a contribution in these testing times.
Prof Whitelegg plans a meta-review on measures and interventions with CO2 reduction results; collaboration with leading policy institutes including Wuppertal, Lund University, and Tyndall; best practice case studies e.g. Oslo, Freiburg, Lund; contacts with climate emergency centres in unitary and county councils; a workshop on measures and best practice; and short summaries based on the EU Evidence project in accessible style.
He said: ‘To tackle climate change, transport is a central issue, in some ways the most difficult but also the one where sustainable transport can best give improvements to people’s lives in local, everyday matters.
‘It will be great to develop this further, at a local, national and international level. Phil and I will be working on our separate agendas of work, and will also collaborate in joint work, which will be stimulating and productive.’
The FIT said there will be scope for interaction and co-operation on these work programmes, both with each other and with networks of other interested researchers and agencies, which will develop over the period.