Renowned civil engineer Lord Robert Mair CBE has been lined up as chair of the delivery company for the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM).
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority said Lord Mair is recognised internationally as an authority on major infrastructure projects involving tunnelling.
It added that business case work completed so far on the CAM has identified tunnels under Cambridge city centre as a key component of creating a joined-up, world-leading regional public transport network.
At its 30 September meeting, the combined authority board will be recommended to appoint Lord Mair as chair of the CAM Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) board.
Lord Mair is Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering and director of research at the University of Cambridge and was president of the Institution of Civil Engineers from 2017-18.
He sits as chair of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Science Advisory Council, providing independent scientific and technical advice to DfT on all matters relating to road, rail, marine and aviation.
Since 2015, he has sat as an independent crossbench member of the Lords and is a member of its Select Committee on Science and Technology.
He said: ‘I grew up, went to school and graduated in Cambridge, returning to the university in 1998 after 27 years in industry. With this background I have a very strong affection and affiliation with this great city and the region.
‘The vision for CAM is exciting. A flexible, innovative system will be essential in creating the better transport future the region needs and deserves, while also delivering the decarbonised journeys needed to help safeguard the environment.
‘The unprecedented effects of a global pandemic have also caused a significant shift in how people travel, which must also be factored into any new transport scheme.’
Combined authority mayor James Palmer said: ‘It is a testament to the ambition, importance and the pioneering nature of CAM that Lord Robert Mair has agreed to be put forward for recommendation as our first SPV board chair.
‘His Cambridge roots will I’m sure add an extra sense of connection to this project and his highly relevant experience and access to extensive networks across industry and academia will help us push CAM forward at pace.’