Millennium Dome project director Bernard Ainsworth is seconded from Atkins to be head of civils and stations

London Underground consortium Metronet has appointed Bernard Ainsworth, an Atkins director and former head of the Millennium Dome, head of its stations and civils work.

Metronet, which is responsible for two-thirds of the Tube’s PPP work, has made the appointment with immediate effect. Ainsworth has been seconded from Atkins, one of the five Metronet stakeholders, on a full-time basis.

Keith Clarke, non-executive chairman of Metronet and chief executive of Atkins, confirmed the appointment and said it had been made because Ainsworth had the “appropriate skills and we are seeking to improve performance”.

Clarke added that Metronet was pleased with the progress being made by chief executive Andrew Lezala, who joined in April from Jarvis after former executive chairman John Weight left.

Ainsworth, who only joined Atkins in January as a director in charge of the construction process of major contracts, has replaced Balfour Beatty’s Peter Leach in the Metronet role.

Leach has returned from his secondment to Balfour Beatty, which is a Metronet stakeholder alongside Atkins, Bombardier, Seaboard and Thames Water.

The stations and civils work carried out does not include the stock or track work and is branded Trans4m. In February, Metronet and Tube Lines, the consortium that is responsible for the other third of the work, were publicly criticised in a report by Tim O’Toole, managing director of London Underground, for missing targets.

Clarke said: “This is a big and complex capital design programme and Ainsworth is good at that.”

Ainsworth’s previous role before joining Atkins was as project director of Manchester’s Metrolink tram scheme – before which he was chief operating officer of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, also in Manchester.

He first made his name in the industry as project director of the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, London, for joint-venture contractors McAlpine and Laing.

Ainsworth this week said that he could be seconded for several years. He said: “My job is to finish it, complete it [the programme]. If you look at my history, I spend anything up to five years on jobs, through to their conclusion. Like all big, lumpy programmes, it has its fair share of challenges.”