Smart Transport

Highways England appoints Dipesh J Shah as chair to deliver £27bn strategy

Dipesh J. Shah

Dipesh J Shah has been selected as Highways England chair, responsible for the delivery of the second five-year road investment strategy, RIS2.

Shah will begin the role on September 1, 2020, taking over from Colin Matthews who had been in role for six years.

Matthews led the organisation through a period of significant change, from its initial establishment as a government-owned company, through to its delivery of the RIS1 programme and subsequent plans for RIS2.

RIS2, a £27 billion strategy, began in April 2020 and will further improve the safety, reliability and connectivity of England’s strategic road network.

Shah brings extensive experience from senior roles in both public and private sectors, having previously chaired several organisations, including a listed power utility, housing association and the European industry association for solar.

He has also served on the boards of Thames Water, Babcock International and the Crown Estate, as well as on boards in the infrastructure, financial services and energy sectors.

He was formerly the CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, having earlier held several senior positions at BP.

Shah said: “I am honoured to be invited to chair Highways England, which plays a pivotal role in connecting communities across England.

“I look forward to working with colleagues to deliver the very significant programme of improvement and expansion of the road network in support of the government’s levelling-up agenda.”

Roads Minister Baroness Vere said: “This government is determined to build our way out of COVID-19, providing the infrastructure, jobs and skills needed to support our economy.

“I am delighted that Dipesh Shah will be leading the Highways England team at this crucial time, delivering major projects that will really make a difference to communities across the country.

“I’d also like to thank Colin Matthews for seeing Highways England through its first phase as a new company, including the successful delivery of the first road investment strategy.

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