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TSSA welcomes new HS2 Chief Exec

26 January 2017

Responding to the news that HS2 Ltd have appointed Mark Thurston as Chief Executive Officer, TSSA suggest HS2's new CEO persue simultaneous North/South line construction and ensure future rail apprenticeship schemes.

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, said:

"The news that HS2 have finally appointed a new Chief Exec is welcome. The organisation has been leaderless since Simon Kirby quit in September, so Mark really does have to hit the ground running to makesure there are no more HS2 delays as we are fast running out of passenger capacity between London and the West Midlands.

"But his leadership would get off to a bold start if gave the order to lay tracks from Leeds and London at the same time to meet in the middle at Birmingham. It's ridiculous that the northern end is on a six year time lag behind the southern end. The North should not continue to be denied the early benefits from HS2's huge economic regeneration and growth benefits and frankly, the whole country could do with this 21st century rail solution on track well before the current scheduled 2033 completion date.

"Mark got his start in life as an apprentice in London Transport. It's always good to see someone who started life at the bottom make it to the top. Public investment in his skills and education put him where he is today. But I hope he remembers where he came from and will make a big difference to the prospects of other youngsters as we go forward by initiating publicly-funded, school-leaver and graduate apprentice schemes within HS2. And he knows, the future of our railways depends on educating, training and retaining a future railway workforce so I look forward to meeting him to discuss this as soon as possible."

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