David Prout, currently a director general at the Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG), will transfer to the Department for Transport (DfT) in the new year in the newly-created post of HS2 director general. He will be responsible for getting the necessary legislation through Parliament.
HS2 is a proposed high-speed rail network linking London, Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and the East Midlands. The plans are being developed for the government by a special-purpose quango called HS2 Ltd.
David Prout is a career civil servant working in national and local government roles. He has been at DCLG since 2009, with responsibility for localism. Before that he was executive director for planning and development at the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
DfT permanent secretary Philip Rutnam said: “HS2 is a hugely important programme for the future of the UK. I am very pleased that David Prout will be taking charge at such an exciting time. He will be leading a team which is already hard at work delivering this project, as well as liaising closely with HS2 Ltd, as we work together to introduce the legislation into Parliament on time next year that will make HS2 a reality.”
David Prout said: “Making HS2 a reality is absolutely crucial to our country’s future prosperity and I am very pleased to have been asked to take leadership of this much-needed programme at this time. I look forward to helping to take the project through Parliament and continuing to demonstrate the very real need for more capacity for people and freight on our railways, which will help make Britain a more prosperous and less congested country.”