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Roads & Bridges

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Delivering an appropriate and sustainable transportation network for the 21st century is an exciting challenge. Atkins is committed to planning, designing and enabling our clients’ transportation programmes.


Transport is a vital element of enabling a functioning economy. As global demand to travel for business, leisure and to find work, transport infrastructure needs to cope with both the demands of today and the needs of future generations.

Connecting people with places is increasingly important in today’s economy especially in the face of a growing population. As global demand to travel for business, leisure and to find work surges, transport infrastructure needs to cope with both the challenges of today and the needs of future generations.

Around the world, our people are working on projects that help to shape the future of transportation – designing structures that connect cities and towns, managing highways assets and ensuring sustainable solutions really work.

Delivering a transport network fit for the 21st Century and beyond is great but not insurmountable. At Atkins, we work closely with our clients and partners across government, financial institutions, private developers and contractors to build efficient mobility systems that unlock long term economic growth while meeting important social and environmental benefits.



Whether it’s the improvement of strategic links, modelling pedestrian flows in town centres or developing information systems for public transport, we plan, design and enable solutions.

Transport planning and policy

Atkins provides clients with the full range of transport planning capabilities tailored to their specific needs. Our expertise spans three main areas – policy and guidance, professional advice, and scheme design and implementation. We are the provider and employer of choice for many transport planning and management advisory services.

Highways infrastructure design

Our understanding of transport needs, in-depth experience and exceptional skills make us a world leader in the development and design of highways infrastructure. We understand the vital role transport improvements have in ensuring safe and reliable road networks, integrated transport services and accessible city centres.

Intelligent transport systems

Atkins is the UK’s leading intelligent transport systems (ITS) provider. We plan all aspects of our clients' ITS schemes, developing strategies and business plans to meet today's complex transportation needs. We also enable the delivery of these strategies by providing managed services to help our clients improve the performance of their ITS infrastructure, ensuring more efficient and reliable networks.


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Andrew Warrington
05 Apr 2017

Although some local authorities are facing funding challenges and concerns that the resilience of the network is reducing, they are also demonstrating flexibility and willingness to make best use of the funding that is available to drive improved efficiency. Effective asset management is one such approach that is being widely adopted as a response. In 2013, Atkins wrote a revised asset management guidance document on behalf of HMEP and UKRLG to support asset management best practice. The guidance was published with lifecycle planning tools, to help authorities make the most of available funds. The development of digital data collection and analytical systems is one of these, and demonstrates performance of highway infrastructure assets and optimum planned interventions. These tools are now well embedded in local authority practices and the DfT has supported it’s delivery by incentivising the adoption of good asset management with the introduction of its incentive fund. A further challenge for local authorities lies in increased pressure to demonstrate organisational efficiency and achievement of outcomes. In some cases, this has led to the consolidation of teams whereby separate sub-cultures exist around the management of different assets such as carriageways, street lighting or structures. The implementation of asset management provides a solution to this disconnect through an integrated approach to managing strategy, cross-asset priorities, data, analysis, planning and operational delivery. To be successful however, it must be incorporated into organisational transformations. The Code of Practice supports this approach by setting out requirements for local authorities to review and improve

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Matt Gamble
21 Mar 2017

On some occasions, residential estates and business parks have been planned and developed without enough consideration of how they will be served by buses. The result is usually a low level of bus service provision, a low level of passenger uptake, and a resultant high level of car dependency. The continued squeeze on local authority revenue budgets makes the provision of bus services in these circumstances even less likely. An alternative vision for bus services in new developments starts with the principle of prioritising passengers’ time. If buses are to succeed in attracting passengers, residents need to perceive bus services to be quick, punctual and frequent. The design of new developments directly influences all three attributes. Following this, is the principle of maximising the resources used to provide the bus service; since this also drives a quick, punctual and frequent service. Passenger-facing technology such as real-time information builds support for bus services but does not substitute for these basic components. In principle, the features required to give the bus service a fighting chance are straightforward. Roads should be of suitable width and geometry to allow two large vehicles to pass with ease, with consideration given to controlling kerbside car parking as required. Bus routes need to maximise the accessibility of bus services by ensuring bus stops are within a reasonable distance, and that the walking routes that serve them are direct and well-lit. Immediately we face a trade-off between bus service density and frequency. In cases where development design has failed to adequately

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Marc Woodall
21 Mar 2017

Studies by the World Health Organisation and Public Health England show that people who exercise every day for 15 minutes, are 30% less likely to suffer from illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes. Their risk of certain cancers also falls by up to 30%. But it's not only about good health; a greater number of people choosing to walk and cycle also makes good transport and urban planning sense. Transport users who walk or cycle better economise road space when travelling, in comparison to some other travel modes such as cars or taxis. Naturally this benefit extends to parking issues; you could store 20 bicycles in the same space as one car. Air quality and carbon emission benefits are well documented, and studies such as the Department for Transport's The Value of Cycling report suggest that people who the visit shops on foot or by bike spend more than people who drive. Beyond evidence based studies alone, the walking and cycling agenda has been supported by: industry collaboration, sharing of best practice, commitment at policy level by government funding schemes and the launch of their cycling and walking specific strategy. When you combine these benefits, encouraging walking and cycling as the mode of choice seems to be the silver bullet to some of the challenges that society is facing. Inevitably however, there are certain challenges and barriers to increasing levels of walking and cycling that require further consideration. There has been a real drive toward urban planning for all travel modes, but legacy

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Wolfgang Schuster
02 Mar 2017

According to the United Nations DESA report, the world population is projected to increase to 8.5 billion by 2030. The majority of which are expected to live in or near major cities and metroplexes. With status quo, the resulting significant increase in travel demand would place an unacceptable burden on an already saturated transport system, with increased congestion, reduced safety and consequent negative impacts on human quality of life and businesses. The “status-quo approach” is simply not sustainable. While an expansion of the existing infrastructure seems to be the obvious choice, spatial constraints, especially in cities, make this option unviable. The alternative is to increase capacity through increased efficiency, based on a radically new concept of transport operations. Over the last decade, innovative technologies, products and services have either directly delivered, or empowered significant disruption across the transport sector - with the potential to reshape transport network management and shift the behaviour of, and opportunities for, end-users. Some of the most significant changes have been the introduction of smartphones and other information and communication technologies that have enabled an ever growing range of services to be provided to the end-user, and huge quantities of up-to-date data and information to be shared in real time between relevant stakeholders. These technologies are also key enablers of this radically new concept of transport operations, known as Intelligent Mobility. Intelligent Mobility is a new approach to the way people, places and goods are being connected across all transport modes. At its core, is the intelligent

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HE partnered with their Netherlands equivalent, Rijkswaterstaat (RWS), to help overcome their legacy system drawbacks. Both wished to develop a future operating model that delivered a modern and open technology platform and effective supply chain that would improve the resilience and efficiency of their road networks. Atkins were tasked with developing the security requirements for the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) operating model, and supporting its delivery through an open tender process to enable appropriate suppliers to provide the new solution. We worked in collaboration with HE and RWS, integrating our subject matter experts into the project team. This allowed us to agree a joint security approach which would took into account the different cultural, business, security and legislative concerns that the two partners faced. By working closely with all stakeholders, we determined the existing operational structures, business goals and service requirements. We reviewed UK and Dutch security standards and Governmental requirements and negotiated a joint approach to meet these. Finally, we developed a ‘to-be’ security operating model to meet business requirements for input into ‘Pre-qualification questionnaire’ (PQQ) and ‘Invitation to tender’ (ITT) contract phases and proposed and agreed approaches for the formal accreditation of ATMS. Our security-focused business systems analysis and requirements development led to a detailed set of building block deliverables at functional and technical levels. These included the specific application, infrastructure, hosting and platform components. The completion of this project provided HE and RWS with a pragmatic and realistic view of the threat environment for information assets with a

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Limehouse Viaduct is an early stock brick Grade II listed structure originally built to support the London to Blackwall Railway, serving the old docks of East London, and now carrying Docklands Light Railway system. The viaduct is punctuated by a number of flat metal deck spans which cross a network of public highways and watercourses. Due to the length of the viaduct structure and differing forms of construction, the project was divided into four packages. Package 1 was completed on time enabling the client to implement the tender process for the site works within the project time scales. Packages 2, 3 & 4 are due to commence following completion of the Package 1 site works.

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The works were predominately undertaken to the bridge’s heavily eroded ornate masonry parapets in the interest of ensuring public safety. Due to the importance of the structure to the town both as an amenity and as part of its heritage, the bridge’s architectural features were also restored as part of the scheme. Staff from Atkins/Waterman, who were seconded into Warwickshire County Council’s Bridge Maintenance Team on the west midlands highways alliance professional services framework, recently completed the repair and restoration of the historic Grade II Listed Willes Road Bridge in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. The three span masonry arch bridge provides one of only three routes over the River Leam, linking the south of the town to its centre and so is a vital and heavily trafficked piece of infrastructure. The structure’s parapets were found to be in a poor condition during a routine bridge inspection with unstable and heavily weathered masonry. Some of the 300mm thick masonry blocks in the parapet were found to have eroded away entirely and so provided little protection for errant vehicles. A scheme was devised and implemented to repair the masonry parapets to ensure the safety of road users passing over the bridge. Due to the structure’s importance in respect to the town’s heritage, it was decided to also restore its architectural features. Extensive research was undertaken to determine the original appearance of the bridge’s original architectural features which included working with the District Council’s Conservation Officers and a local historical society. The source of

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Atkins-Waterman was successfully appointed as the designer in August 2013 with a core Atkins design team co-located in Coventry City Council's offices, along with an Assistant Project Manager seconded into Coventry City Council from Waterman. Complex multi-stakeholder management, including balancing developer, council, public and business and transport requirements during construction and in the final project.  The core team was supported by designers from Atkins’ offices, ensuring the best people were used on the scheme. Through effective collaboration between Atkins-Waterman, the client (Coventry City Council) and the Contractor (Costain), the scheme was delivered on time and within budget. The road was opened under substantial completion in May 2015. To enable delivery, regularly collaborative programme workshops were carried out to develop a lean design and construction programme, prioritising critical elements such as steel beams which had long fabrication lead in times. Weekly progress meetings supplemented with Daily Lean meetings were held to highlight key activities and actions. Alongside this, risk workshops were held to manage project risks and reviewed on a monthly basis. Safety was fundamental to our design, incorporating design features to reduce working at height and adjacent to live highways. The bridge was designed using pairs of braced girders, designed for prefabrication off-site and capable of installation during short night time road closures without temporary works. The scheme also included the relocation of the existing bus terminus outside of the railway station to provide a temporary facility during the development. Working collaboratively, Atkins and Coventry City Council identified the space required for the terminus and

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Atkins was commissioned by Highways England to evaluate the performance of schemes delivered as part of their Major Schemes, LNMS and Pinch Point programmes, using Post Opening Project Evaluation (POPE). The range of products prepared as part of the POPE commissions has offered a number of benefits to Highways England. Firstly, it offers a transparent mechanism by which Highways England; Department for Transport and parliamentary ministers can confidently demonstrate the extent to which individual schemes and the programme as a whole offer a return on investment to customers and wider stakeholders.  Furthermore, it offers a means by which the following can be provided: Detailed explanation of why specific scheme objectives and outcomes may not have been achieved, helping to identify lessons for future appraisals; Forms an evidence base to help identify where appraisal methods are most and least reliable, flagging up opportunities to improve appraisal methods, producing greater accuracy in the future; and  It provides a means by which industry best practice in scheme design and appraisal techniques can be disseminated. Throughout this project, Atkins has built up an excellent working relationship with Highways England and is the leader in Europe for the unrivalled experience we have in highway scheme evaluation. The results of all Atkins studies are of considerable interest to Highways England and the Department for Transport for the delivery against project objectives.  

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Atkins was contracted by the Department for Transport (DfT) to model the impact of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) on the road network. Autonomous vehicles could revolutionise driving for millions and permanently impact the way we travel. They will also change the face of how we plan, design and operate transport infrastructure. This project seeks to understand and quantify how CAVs will affect road capacity, ranging from traffic lights to motorways, and accounting for different technologies. National policy decisions around big infrastructure projects need to be taken years, sometimes decades in advance. The outputs of this work will help the DfT understand how CAVs might change the operation of the road network, shaping thinking around a number of issues, from safety policy to road construction.

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Atkins Traffic Modelling and Economic Assessment teams have investigated the Economic case and appraising potential highway based options for the A5036 Corridor from the M57 ‘Switch Island’ interchange to the Port of Liverpool. As part of an initial feasibility study for Highways England, Atkins Transport Modelling team took the lead on the development of a strategic traffic model that enabled the understanding of future year transport conditions along this key corridor. This involved close working relationships with the client (Highways England), Sefton Council, the Port of Liverpool and other key stakeholders (such as the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership). Outputs from the traffic model were supplied to colleagues from Atkins Air and Noise Quality, Environmental and Planning disciplines as well as providing essential information for an Economic Assessment exercise.  The results of the feasibility study suggested that improving the A5036 would result in ‘high value for money’ and helped to secure a place on the Highways England’s National Infrastructure Road Programme. The transport planning team are now leading the ‘Stage 2’ phase of the traffic appraisal / model development.

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Atkins has been awarded the contract for the Turkey National Transport Masterplan, to collect traffic data across the country, develop a transport model and identify key transport infrastructure investment projects over the next 30 years. Although the work will be led by Transportation, the project win was a result of a collaborative effort between the Transportation and Water Ground and Environment teams at the bid stage. Funded by EuropeAid, the work on the project will also include providing expertise on how the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication in Turkey and other institutions need to change so they are able to deliver the infrastructure investment as successfully as possible. Atkins are collaborating with lead partner Egis, who have already been working with the Turkish government in the early development phase. The team, built a relationship with Egis ahead of the bid, and unrivalled skills in transportation were a good fit with Egis’ capabilities. This project win gives Atkins the opportunity to build durable client relations and capitalise on a project of huge significance for Turkey in the longer term. In addition to building a national transport model for the country which will be used to forecast travel projections, the team are assisting with components of the Masterplan Strategy, with a particular focus on Intelligent Transport Systems and Air Transport and Navigation. The work also involves utilising the outcomes of the National Masterplan to inform the development of guidelines for Urban Transportation plans. Atkins are leading on this element of the project. As

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Journey Planning Portal  

The Journey Planning Portal (JPP) is a web application for employers to reduce their carbon footprint by encouraging sustainable travel.


Ready to dig  

Atkins is the UK’s leading provider of utility reports. We also provide a wide range of utility management services across the lifecycle of a project.


For more information on our work and experience in this sector please contact:

Lesley Waud
Market director, strategic highways

Chadwick House
Birchwood Park
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 01925 238 386
Email: Lesley.waud@atkinsglobal.com


In this section you can find technical papers, thought leadership articles and brochures produced by Atkins for the roads sector.

Title Format Size
Bridges pdf 5.3MB
European Funding pdf 2.5MB

In this section you can find technical papers, thought leadership articles and brochures produced by Atkins for the roads sector.

Title Format Size
King of the road pdf 384KB
Life span pdf 320KB
The long and widening road pdf 208KB
Traffic unjammed pdf 271KB


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