High Speed 2 rail campaign snares comms chief Jill Pearcy

The Government's maligned High Speed 2 rail campaign has brought in a former air traffic control media chief to spearhead comms as it works to win 'hearts and minds'.

High speeds: HS2 project hires Jill Pearcy
High speeds: HS2 project hires Jill Pearcy

Jill Pearcy has joined the HS2 project after working for it on a freelance basis. Before this, she spent two years as head of media relations for the National Air Traffic Control Service. She took up the £60,000-a-year post on Tuesday.

Pearcy’s arrival follows the appointment of former Crossrail chief executive Douglas Oakervee as chair of HS2. Earlier this year he admitted to The Times that ‘there are hearts and minds to win and we will be spending time to do that’.

The £32bn route, which is set to open in 2026, has ?attracted significant criticism and generated more than 60 anti-HS2 groups. The pro-HS2 Campaign for High Speed Rail has used Westbourne Communications, and opponents have called on Quiller Consultants.

Pearcy is responsible for ‘ensuring clarity of message across a range of media channels’, an overhaul of the HS2 website, and overseeing speeches and presentations for board members.

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