Matthews to chair Highways Agency | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Matthews to chair Highways Agency

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Colin Matthews has been appointed as non-executive chairman of the Highways Agency.

The former chief executive officer of Heathrow Airport Holdings will take over as the HA is transformed into a government-owned company.

Colin joins the HA after more than six years at the helm at BAA, which was renamed as Heathrow Airports Holdings in 2012. At BAA, he transformed the company’s operations, improved customer service, sold various airports and rebuilt Heathrow’s Terminal 2. An engineer by training, Matthews worked in a variety of management roles before taking on two large-scale technically-focused jobs at British Airways. He then ran Transco, before becoming Group CEO of Hays, later going on to become Group CEO of Severn Trent, then moving to BAA.

Matthews (pictured) will take over the post of chair of the HA from Alan Cook, who has been in the job since January 2011 and delivered his review of the government’s approach to operating, maintaining and enhancing the strategic road network in November of that year.

Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said: “I would like to thank Alan Cook for all of his hard work during the course of his appointment – both at the Highways Agency and for the five and a half years’ dedicated service he has provided to the department board. Alan has provided wise advice and challenge to the executive at the Highways Agency and has paved the way for the transformation on which the Agency is now embarking.

“Colin Matthews’ appointment demonstrates the commitment we have to revolutionising our roads. His strong business record will give the new strategic highways company the leadership and focus on customer service it needs, which means taxpayers and road users will get a network fit for the future economic demands of this country.”

Colin Matthews added: “I am delighted to be taking up the chair of the Highways Agency. Roads matter to drivers and the economy. My focus will be on making them work better.

“Long-term stable investment will mean that all road users will be better able to get to their destination safely and quickly?.”

The new chairman will take up his post on 1 September 2014, and will be paid £130,000, for a minimum of 78 days’ work per annum, to lead and deliver the transition of the agency to a government-owned company.

Graham Dalton, chief executive of the Highways Agency, said: “I welcome Colin as chair of the Highways Agency and from next year of the new strategic highways company. We are preparing to increase investment in the network up to £4 billion per year by 2021 and transform the experience of road users. Colin’s experience in leading major infrastructure businesses will be invaluable as we establish the new company.

“The potential for a government-owned highways company that plans better, delivers more efficiently and provides improved customer service, was developed by Alan Cook, and I would like to thank him for building this vision with us, and the government, over the last three years as the first Chair of the Agency.”


It would be refreshing if some of the good practice identified as part of the “Cook” report was actually introduced!!