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News releases 2013

It’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it, and this winter has seen the second female gritter driver in Cambridgeshire Highway’s history take to the roads.

Cambridgeshire Highways, a partnership between Atkins and Cambridgeshire County Council, are responsible for gritting 1700km of roads in the county and when the severe weather hits it’s all hands on deck.

By day, 27 year old Lynsey Daniels from Linton, Cambridge, works as a commercial assistant for Atkins in the Cambridgeshire Highways Girton office. By night, Lynsey can be found driving one of Whittlesford Depot’s gritters on Cambridgeshire’s roads.

Ever since the management in Cambridgeshire Highways asked for volunteers, Lynsey has been an eager trainee so she could help grit the local roads in the county. In October Lynsey gained her licence and since November she has been on the full time rota for gritting.

Lynsey said: “I liked the idea of becoming a gritter driver so I took to the challenge and I really enjoy it. It’s not as daunting as it looks, although gritting the city centre at 3am can be rather tricky when the clubs kick out but also rather amusing. The guys in the fleet have been so welcoming and are a good bunch to work with and they are not fazed by a woman driver.”

Dave Crowther, depot manager at Cambridgeshire Highways, said: “Lynsey has taken to gritting like a duck to water and for someone who only passed their test two months ago, it is a great achievement. The route Lynsey is now driving (Cambridge City Centre) is one of the hardest routes from Whittlesford Depot, so well done Lyns.”

Councillor Tony Orgee, Cambridgeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Community Infrastructure, said: "The County Council works in partnership with Atkins to ensure we are as ready as possible to deal with winter weather and to make conditions better for all road users. We have top quality equipment, full stocks of salt and a highly trained and dedicated team of drivers and support staff. Lynsey is a very welcome new addition to the team of expert drivers who go out in all weather conditions to do all they can to ensure that the community and business are kept on the move when bad weather hits."

Cambridgeshire Highways are committed to the development of their staff and the introduction of voluntary training for gritter driving has provided an equal opportunity across the business. Atkins is committed to diversity in its workforce and has specific plans for the career development of its employees.


For more information:  

Jessica Justin
Communications officer

+44 2071 212421/+44 7812 237 587

Dilly Lidder
Communications manager

 +44 (0)121 4835570/+44 (0)7834 505849

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Notes to editors:

Atkins ( is one of the world's leading design, engineering and project management consultancies*, employing some 17,700 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. It has the breadth and depth of expertise to plan, design and enable some of the world's most technically challenging and time critical infrastructure projects.

*14th largest global design firm (Engineering News-Record 2012), the largest global architecture firm (BD World Architecture 100 2012) and the largest multidisciplinary consultancy in Europe (Svensk Teknik och Design 2011).

On 1st September 2006, Atkins and Cambridgeshire County Council came together to form Cambridgeshire Highways. The contract is delivered from various co-located offices and depots in Huntingdon, March, Witchford, Whittlesford and Girton.

The contract covers the entire highway network in Cambridgeshire with the exception of the Highways Agency’s trunk roads, this covers 4,411km of highway carriageway, 2,267km of footways and 3,700 structures. Atkins provides a variety of services from design, supervision and delivery of highway improvement schemes to verge maintenance, emergency response and winter maintenance.

Recent projects:

Atkins is working across urban regeneration, master planning, national energy programmes, major transport schemes, water and environment projects - applying smart design solutions on projects including:

  • Doha Central Planning Office – helping to co-ordinate Qatar’s National 2030 Vision for world class transport infrastructure, which will bring major benefits to the economy;
  • The London 2012 Games infrastructure transformation – as technical advisor to London’s boroughs as the Olympic Park moves into its legacy configuration as a follow-on role to our work as the Games’ official engineering and design provider;
  • UAE’s peaceful nuclear new build programme – providing technical assurance to lenders backing the United Arab Emirates’ most ambitious energy infrastructure projects;
  • North Sea and Gulf of Mexico oil and gas platforms - extending the operational life of critical oil and gas platforms to allow cost-efficient and safe recovery of fuel sources from mature fields;
  • SSE offshore wind alliance - provision of expert engineering and design support for the UK’s biggest offshore wind alliance with Scottish and Southern Energy;
  • Crossrail - designing the Central London twin tunnels and station architecture for Europe’s biggest civil engineering scheme which will see tunnels passing beneath 470 listed buildings and critical infrastructure;
  • Etihad Railway - providing multidisciplinary design expertise on the 1,200 km Etihad Rail network which will revolutionise passenger and freight transport in the UAE;
  • Denmark ERTMS - providing multidisiplinary signalling expertise on the first countrywide installation of an ERTMS train control and management system in Denmark;
  • Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge - lead consultant on this integral part of the new Hong Kong link road scheme which will significantly boost land connectivity in the region;
  • Lowestoft Sixth Form College - design of the ultralow energy consumption Lowestoft College in the UK which aims to reduce operational energy use by more than 60% compared to previous designs;
  • UK National Composites Centre – providing technical expertise to bring the latest lightweight carbon fibre materials to all engineering sectors, helping to develop innovative applications and reduce costs and carbon;
  • US Environmental Protection Agency - providing technical assessment and analysis of national water-related resources and ecological systems in North America.