John Armitt
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John Armitt

Sir John Armitt

John Armitt.png
Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission

19 January 2018
Philip Hammond
The Lord Adonis
Deputy Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission

21 April 2017 - 19 January 2018
Interim: 5 October 2015 - 21 April 2017
George Osborne
Philip Hammond
ChairThe Lord Adonis
Office created
Personal details
John Alexander Armitt

(1946-02-02) 2 February 1946 (age 74)
Edmonton, London, England
Alma materPortsmouth College of Technology
London Business School
OccupationChairman, National Express, National Infrastructure Commission

Sir John Alexander Armitt, CBE, FREng,[1]FICE (born 2 February 1946) is an English civil engineer, who was from 2007 Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, the body which successfully built the venues, facilities and infrastructure for the 2012 Olympic Games. He was President of the Institution of Civil Engineers for 2015-16,[2] having been a vice-president since 2012.[3]

He is also Chairman of the Council of the City and Guilds of London Institute, and took office in October 2012. He was Chairman of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council from 2007 until 2012. He was appointed Chairman of National Express on 1 February 2013.[4]

Insignia of Knight Bachelor

Early life

Armitt was born in February 1946 in North London.[5] He is 6 ft 4 in tall.[6] He attended Portsmouth Northern Grammar School. He graduated in Civil Engineering from the Portsmouth College of Technology in 1966 and took his first job with John Laing.[5]


Armitt spent 27 years with John Laing, on various projects including the Sizewell B nuclear power station[7] rising to become the Chairman of Laing's International and Civil Engineering Divisions.[8] In 1993 he was appointed Chief executive of Union Railways, the company responsible for implementing the Channel Tunnel rail link. From 1997 to 2001 he was Chief executive of Costain Group,[8] which he converted from an annual loss of £62 million to a profit of £6.5 million.[9] In 2001 he became Chief executive of Railtrack, and from 2002 to 2007 its successor, Network Rail,[5]

During his time at Network Rail he was believed by a survey sponsored by The Sunday Times to be the highest-paid public-sector employee in the UK.[10] Armitt's salary and bonus of £878,000 - rising to more than £1m[11] when pension contributions are included, overtaking Adam Crozier, chief executive of Royal Mail.

On 2 November 2012 the Government announced that Armitt would be a member of the Airports Commission.[12] He is also deputy chairman of the Berkeley Group and a Transport for London board member.[13] The 'Armitt Review', an independent review of long-term UK infrastructure planning, was published in September 2013, and is Labour Party policy.[13]


He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1996 Birthday Honours for services to the rail industry.[14][5] On 16 July 2007 Network Rail named New Measurement Train power car 43062 after him at London Euston. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering[1] and of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

He was knighted in the 2012 New Years Honours List for services to engineering and construction as chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority.[15] His knighthood was criticised by the family of a victim of the Grayrigg derailment, as Armitt had been serving as chief executive of Network Rail at the time of the 2007 accident. Network Rail were prosecuted for the incident on the same day that Armitt's knighthood was conferred.[16]


  1. ^ a b "List of Fellows".
  2. ^ "ICE Council". Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ Bolton, Andy. "Armitt in frame for Presidency". New Civil Engineer 19 April 2012. Retrieved 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b c d Network Rail News Release Archived 20 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine Tuesday 12 December 2006 Network Rail announces the intention of John Armitt to retire as Chief Executive
  6. ^ BBC News Business 3 October 2002 Hard Hat time for rail champion
  7. ^ The Times 9 May 2007
  8. ^ a b ODA Board Archived 8 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine ODA Website. Retrieved 26 October 2008
  9. ^ "Rail crash report blames points". BBC News. 26 February 2007.
  10. ^ Grimston, Jack; Kirk, Jon (8 October 2006). "Fat cats of the public sector take top pay". The Times. London. Retrieved 2010.
  11. ^ Network Rail Limited: Annual Report and Accounts 2006
  12. ^ "Airports Commission membership". UK Government 2012.
  13. ^ a b Hansford, Mark (29 October 2015). "Industry Catalyst". New Civil Engineer.
  14. ^ "No. 54427". The London Gazette. 14 June 1996. p. 8.
  15. ^ "No. 60009". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2011. p. 1.
  16. ^ "Grayrigg crash victim's son 'disgusted' by knighthood". BBC News. 1 March 2012. Retrieved 2012.

External links

Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
David Balmforth
President of the Institution of Civil Engineers
November 2015 - November 2016
Succeeded by
Tim Broyd

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