Costain appoints Skanska boss as transport lead

Costain has appointed Jonathan Willcock as managing director of its transportation division.

Willcock, who has led Skanska’s infrastructure arm for the past three years, will take on responsibility for Costain’s highways, rail and aviation work in April.

Before joining Skanska, Willcock spent seven years as managing director of Alstom Transport UK’s systems, signalling and infrastructure division.

He will replace Sue Kershaw, who left Costain last month after four years with the firm.

The appointment comes at a troubled time for Costain’s transportation arm, as the company attempts to move away from its focus on road schemes and the HS2 high-speed rail project.

In June, it withdrew from the £1.3bn A66 Northern Trans-Pennine upgrade less than a year after it was appointed by National Highways.

A £100m roads scheme for Lancashire County Council also fell through when work was suspended by the local authority pending a re-evaluation in light of rising costs.

In May, Costain’s job to upgrade barriers on the M62 was cancelled following a National Highways appraisal.

Chief executive Alex Vaughan said infrastructure would play a significant part in the business’ response to the challenges of climate change and economic growth.

“I know that the addition of Jonathan to our executive team will help Costain contribute positively to these challenges and support the growth and diversification of our services across the transportation market,” he added.

Willcock said Costain had a strong reputation in the infrastructure industry, and that he had enjoyed working with the firm on collaborative projects.

“The breadth of Costain’s service offering is a unique selling point, and I’m looking forward to building on our relationships with our transportation customers and showing how we can meet their needs,” he said.

Group commercial director David Taylor, who has been filling the role in an interim capacity, will stay in post until Willcock’s arrival.

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