National Highways Chair moves on as fixed term comes to an end

Dipesh Shah, who helped oversee the second road investment strategy, will step down from his role at the end of the year

  • Dipesh Shah OBE to leave by end of 2023 after 3 years as Chair of government-owned roads company
  • short extension agreed as Department for Transport seeks replacement

Dipesh Shah OBE has announced today (5 May 2023) that he will be leaving his role as Chair of National Highways at the end of his current term of office later this year.

National Highways operates and maintains the 4,500-mile strategic road network.

Dipesh was appointed Chair in September 2020 to help oversee the delivery of the second road investment strategy, as well as supporting a range of key strategic initiatives for the government-owned company.

During this time, Dipesh has worked closely with the National Highways executive and board as well as ministers and officials from the Department for Transport (DfT) to help transform this vital piece of national infrastructure.

DfT will begin the process to recruit a new Chair soon.

Commenting on the announcement, Dipesh said:

"I have been privileged and honoured to serve as Chair at National Highways, which plays such a pivotal role in connecting communities across England.

"We have achieved much during my tenure and I am grateful to everyone involved with National Highways for their welcome and support.

"I advised the Secretary of State for Transport of my plans earlier this year and I will continue to work with colleagues at National Highways to deliver our goals during the remainder of my time as Chair."

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

"I would like to thank Dipesh for his work as Chair of National Highways over the past 3 years.

"Ministers and officials in the Department for Transport have enjoyed working with Dipesh and appreciated his collaborative approach. I wish him the best of luck in his next steps."

Over the second road period from 2020 to 2025, National Highways expects to have sustained up to 64,000 jobs in the construction industry and added £27 billion to the economy, mainly via a £10.5 billion programme to improve the network.

Ten major improvement schemes have been completed since 2020 while 23 are under construction and 25 are in the development phase, helping to improve safety and journey reliability. The company has also outlined a new vision to cut carbon emissions on the network to net zero, as well as progressing towards its target of a 50% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured by 2025.

Nick Harris, National Highways Chief Executive, said:

"I would like to thank Dipesh for his dedication and support during his time as Chair. His contribution has always been extremely valuable in helping shape and drive our priorities.

"Dipesh’s fixed 3-year tenure is due to end in August. He has agreed a short extension to his current term with the Secretary of State for Transport – taking him up to the end of the year if required – while his successor is recruited."

Dipesh has enjoyed a highly successful career in both the public and private sectors and will be continuing with his other Chair roles outside National Highways as well as taking on additional responsibilities.

Department for Transport
National Highways
The Rt Hon Mark Harper MP