To the Metro gone: Four non-exec directors depart £40k a year posts

Eye-boggling 'conceptual designs' drawn up for the now abandoned £2bn Cam Metro 

Eye-boggling 'conceptual designs' drawn up for the now abandoned £2bn Cam Metro - Credit: Archant

Cambridge United director Godric Smith, once official spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair, is one of four £40,000 a year non-executive director to leave the Cam Metro board.  

He was only appointed last November but has left following winding down of the Cam Metro by incoming mayor Dr Nik Johnson.  

Mayor Johnson pulled the plug after his unexpected victory in May’s elections when he ousted Tory incumbent James Palmer. 

The four non-executive directors were on the board of One Cam Ltd – the delivery company.

Eye-boggling 'conceptual design' drawn up for the now abandoned £2bn Cam Metro

Eye-boggling 'conceptual design' drawn up for the now abandoned £2bn Cam Metro - Credit: Archant

Companies House show all four joined the board in November of 2020 – and all left on July 31, 2021. Their contracts obliged them to work 15 days a year on the Cam Metro.  


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Some notable names are among the departing directors.  

They include Terry Hill whose company Arup built South Olympic Park in London. 

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Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith has also gone: she is among a small number of women to have been chief executive in FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies. 

Departing director Jim Smith was once a director of Balfour Beatty and in recent years has been a key figure in equity fund investments.  

Eye-boggling 'conceptual design' drawn up for the now abandoned £2bn Cam Metro

Eye-boggling 'conceptual design' drawn up for the now abandoned £2bn Cam Metro - Credit: Archant

Still in place is Lord Robert Mair as the £80,000 a year chairman and considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on tunnels.  

He always felt the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM) could be a “truly pioneering” public transport system. 

Lord Mair is emeritus professor of civil engineering and director of research at the university of Cambridge; he has worked on HS1 and Crossrail.    

Winding down CAM Metro means two main director roles have been withdrawn. 

The Combined Authority says this will result in a one-off cost of £50k for payments in lieu of notice.  

Eye-boggling 'conceptual design' drawn up for the now abandoned £2bn Cam Metro 

Eye-boggling 'conceptual design' drawn up for the now abandoned £2bn Cam Metro - Credit: Archant

But a strategy director is staying on for six months “to maximise the value of lessons learnt and work to date”. 

The Combined Authority says the company received £3.995m of invested capital “which it can use to cover all costs it has incurred to-date, and any further costs associated with its running”. 

Mayor Johnson wants a rethink on how transport can level up areas which suffer most from deprivation and inequality, such as in Fenland and Peterborough. 

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