HS2 Ltd phase one civils delivery director Mike Lyons will be departing “shortly” and replaced on an interim basis by David Speight, currently HS2 client project director phase one (north). The revelation comes in Lyons’ latest letter to HS2 independent construction commissioner Sir Mark Worthington in response to his Q3 2022 report. Lyons will be moving into the private sector, HS2 Ltd has confirmed. Lyons has been with HS2 since 2014, when he joined as programme director, overseeing the midlands area including the Birmingham Interchange and Birmingham Curzon Street stations. Prior to that he was at Network Rail, where he was project director on the 2012 Olympics and then route delivery director. Speight, who will be replacing him as interim civils delivery director, previously held roles as EDF head of construction at Hinkley Point C and Heathrow expansion delivery director. He joined Jacobs as vice president major programmes in 2021 and is currently seconded to HS2 where he heads the integrated project team, delivering main works civils across the West Midlands with BBV (Balfour Beatty Vinci JV). HS2 Ltd chief executive Mark Thurston said: “I would like to thank Mike for his leadership over the last eight years and the energy and experience he has brought to my Executive team over the past 18 months. He has played a significant role in establishing our presence in Birmingham and leaves behind a fully mobilised and professional main works civils delivery team across the four Integrated Project Teams.”
Elsewhere in His Letter, Lyons Responds to Worthington’s.
relaying of the number of complaints against HS2, which has been steadily decreasing over the last year. Lyons said that “as we enter peak construction, it is crucial that we continue to engage and respond to impacted communities”. Lyons said that, between April and December of 2022, 99% of complaints were resolved within 20 working days. Despite this, he reaffirms his desire to continue driving down complaints by adding: “We are receiving more calls about construction-related issues that are having an immediate effect on people. Recognising the need to resolve these enquiries quicker, we have committed to resolving all urgent construction enquiries and complaints in two working days.” One of the main sources of complaint against HS2 is congestion of public roads by work vehicles. Lyons said that HS2 Ltd is working with contractors to mitigate these impacts. He gives an example of Balsall Common, where HS2 now has “an agreement in place for the proposed haul road, off Hallmeadow Road, which will help to significantly reduce local impact and we anticipate that construction will take around six months to implement due to the utility diversions required”. Mud and debris from HGVs ending up on roads is another source of complaints. Lyons said “a plan has been actioned across all of [HS2’s] sub-lots to mitigate this issue, including on-site wheel washers, provision of additional road sweeper passes and additional drainage”. Concerns over the construction’s impact on the Chiltern aquifer and drinking water supply had been a newly raised issue in Worthington’s last report. Lyons replied: “We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and all our activity is carried out with the relevant permissions. In the Colne Valley and Chilterns area, we work in close partnership with the Environment Agency and Affinity Water. We also carry out monitoring extensively, and on a regular basis.”