Kay Hughes joined scheme in 2019

HS2 design director Kay Hughes is leaving next month after more than four years on the scheme.

She is the latest high-profile departure from the job in recent months which has also seen chief commercial officer Ruth Todd and communications director Aileen Thompson go at the end of last year.

Hughes, who is not being replaced, joined the project in 2019 having previously been the Olympic Delivery Authority’s head of design for six years, having started as principal design adviser.

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Hughes leaves in May after more than four years on the project

>> See also: HS2’s Kay Hughes: ‘We see ourselves as catalysts for creative thinking’

The team she has been in charge of had moved onto working on phase 2 of the scheme but last autumn this was ditched by prime minister Rishi Sunak because of affordability issues.

Her focus at HS2 has been on urban design and the integration of new infrastructure as well as architecture, active travel and arts and culture.

Hughes is expected to continue working in the design sector with her interests including active travel programmes such as cycle routes – HS2 originally had plans to connect a network of routes from London to Birmingham – and the impact of climate change.