Troubled contractor Jarvis, which this week accepted liability for the Potters Bar rail crash in May 2002, is about to bring in a former chief executive of the Highways Agency to reinforce its management
The firm is understood to be about to appoint Lawrie Haynes as a non-executive director.

A source close to Jarvis said that the appointment of Haynes was "quite imminent". His arrival will be designed to draw a line under an unsettling period at the firm, which has seen three profit warnings this year. Two key members of staff have left the firm: finance director Robert Kendall and the head of the accommodation arm Andrew Sutton.

Haynes' is currently head of a division of British Nuclear Fuels. During his stint as the first chief executive of the Highways Agency between 1994 and 1999, Haynes was one of the first clients to introduce partnering contracts.

The decision to appoint Haynes follows a joint statement on the Potters Bar crash issued by Jarvis and Network Rail.

We are sorry for the hurt and anger that our actions caused

Kevin Hyde, Jarvis chief executive

In the statement the firms accept equal liability for the accident in Hertfordshire, in which seven people were killed.

Reports on Wednesday said that Jarvis would also write to bereaved relatives, apologising for its claim that the crash could have been caused by sabotage.

Kevin Hyde, the chief executive of Jarvis, was reported in The Guardian as writing that "in the aftermath of the crash, when Jarvis was under great pressure to explain itself, we were drawn into a debate about the possible causes of the crash. On behalf of the company and my colleagues, I would like to apologise for the hurt and anger our actions in responding caused".

Lawrie Haynes’ CV

1983-88 Contracts officer and contracts executive at British Aerospace
1988-91 Legal director then managing director of Microtel (now Orange)
1991-94 Project director of British Aerospace
1994-99 Chief executive of Highways Agency
2000-02 Managing director of Lattice telecoms group
2003 Chief executive of government services arm at British Nuclear Fuels