East West Rail Co has appointed a new chief executive, following the recent publication of new proposals for the railway.

Beth West, Balfour Beatty’s former regional managing director for the south, will assume the role of chief executive at the East West Railway Company, which is delivering the Oxford-to-Cambridge railway project.

Ms West left Balfour Beatty in January 2021 after just a year at the company.

Her previous experience includes the likes of Landsec and Transport for London, as well as acting as commercial director on HS2 and head of commercial for the Thames Tideway project.

During her four-and-a-half-year stint as commercial director for HS2 between 2012 and 2017, West oversaw the procurement process for a number of high-value contracts covering £900m of enabling works, £8.6bn of main civil works, and as the £350m engineering delivery partner for phase one.

At Balfour Beatty, West had responsibility for an array of civil engineering and building projects.

She is also a fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, and is an honorary fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Speaking following her appointment , Beth West said: “The organisation has ambitious plans to make a significant and positive difference to the lives of communities and businesses along the route. Delivering a new, sustainable connection between Oxford and Cambridge will be good for businesses, create more jobs for local people, help attract investment to the area and increase prosperity.

“I intend to see EWR at the forefront of innovation, exploring new and better ways to plan, build and run rail in the UK. I am really looking forward to working with local communities, as well as the EWR Co team and our partners, and a wealth of other stakeholders, to deliver East West Rail.”

East West Railway Company chair Neil Sachdev said: “I am delighted that someone of Beth’s calibre will be taking the helm at EWR. Beth is an accomplished leader, combining strong industry experience with an ability to inspire and drive positive change.

“EWR Co has always set out to do things differently, moving away from the traditional rail model, and Beth is a natural fit to continue this new approach. I am looking forward to working with her and I am confident she will bring fresh insight to the role of CEO”

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