Ebbw Vale Frequency Enhancement rail project

SYSTRA has been appointed as design partner with contractor AmcoGiffen to deliver a seven-mile loop reinstating the old twin-track Welsh Ebbw Vale line from Crosskeys in the south to Llanhilleth in the north.

The overall construction cost will be over £20m with the 12-month design contract worth £2m for SYSTRA, led by our Senior PM David Camacho. SYSTRA ’s scope is multi-disciplinary incorporating civil and structural engineering, geotechnical, environmental and architectural interventions.

The rail improvements are part of a £70m investment, funded by Blaenau Gwent Council, and supported by the Welsh Government. The project will deliver new track enabling an hourly service between Ebbw Vale Town and Newport. New platforms that will be installed at Llanhilleth and Newbridge making the stations fully accessible for the first time.

The Ebbw Vale improvements also include an underbridge replacement, creation of new bridge walkways to five separate structures as well as enhancing multiple embankments, cuttings and retaining structures along the route.

James Price, Transport for Wales Chief Executive, said: “This substantial investment from the Welsh Government will bring significant benefits for people living in Ebbw Vale and the surrounding communities.”

The project underpins SYSTRA’s strategy to grow its portfolio in the conventional rail market, and further build its successful collaboration with major contractors AmcoGiffen and project sponsor Network Rail. This exciting project will deliver great outcomes for the local communities in South Wales who will directly benefit from increased rail services and much improved station facilities.

Martin Ayres, Head of Business Development – South, SYSTRA Ltd

*Image shows Llanhilleth Station, looking towards Ebbw Vale town (North).

SYSTRA supports clients in securing over £120m for bus service improvements

The Government’s National Bus Strategy set out an ambitious vision to improve bus services in England outside London and encourage passengers back to bus, an ambition which was underpinned by £3billion of new funding. To secure funding, Local Transport Authorities and bus operators were required to submit an ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) outlining improvements that would support delivery of a fully integrated bus service with simple, multi-modal tickets, more bus priority measures, with better turn-up-and-go frequencies that keep running into the evenings and at weekends.

SYSTRA worked with several Local Transport Authorities to assist them in the production of bold and ambitious BSIPs with measures that will help to increase passenger numbers, improve bus punctuality, reliability and journey times, and increase levels of customer satisfaction.

I am delighted that our team of bus experts has been able to support Derbyshire County Council, Norfolk County Council, Luton Borough Council and North East Lincolnshire Council all submit successful bids, with a combined funding of over £120m. We have a great team of bus experts at SYSTRA who bring with them a blend of hands-on experience gained from years of working for bus operating companies and local authorities, and I’m delighted for our clients who have successfully secured funding.

Brian Drury, Sector Director, SYSTRA Ltd

When producing the successful BSIPs the SYSTRA consultants helped clients to analyse the current bus offer in their area, seek customer and stakeholder views, set challenging but realistic targets and propose a range of measures that will help to deliver a step change in local bus service provision.

One local authority supported by SYSTRA was Luton Borough Council. Steve Lain, Highways & Transport Product Service Manager at Luton Borough Council, said, “Luton Borough Council are pleased to confirm that working with SYSTRA we have secured £19.1m funding from the Department for Transport towards our Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP). This award is a very welcome start to the new financial year and shows how the collaborative working between our team and that of SYSTRA has secured a very significant level of funding that will give passengers in Luton a better experience when using the public transport network.”

SYSTRA are now looking forward to helping clients with delivery of the plans which have been set out – providing expert advice and assistance in delivering BSIP measures and carrying out network sustainability reviews.

SYSTRA Ltd sets out route to Net Zero by 2035

Working within Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol guidelines, SYSTRA UK & Ireland has put in place carbon measurement to calculate the business Carbon Footprint related to Scope 1 emissions (covering fuel combustion for business vehicles), Scope 2 emissions (covering purchased electricity) and key operational elements of Scope 3 emissions (covering upstream fuel and energy-related activities, business travel, employee commuting and energy use related to working from home).

Using these carbon emission calculations, SYSTRA UK & Ireland has achieved carbon neutral certification by supporting a programme to conserve rainforest in Peru. The programme will help local farmers transition to sustainable cacao production in the margins of the protected area ensuring that degraded land is restored, reducing the effects of deforestation, and providing local communities with forest-friendly and sustainable livelihoods. The programme also supports SYSTRA’s commitment to diversity, with 27% of farmers being women, and the role SYSTRA takes in promoting human rights, ensuring consideration of the social and political impact of the projects they support.

Recognising that this is just a first step, SYSTRA UK & Ireland has also committed to becoming Net Zero for its entire carbon footprint by 2035 and published its Carbon Reduction Plan, detailing past and future initiatives designed to minimise the company’s carbon footprint and contribute to achieving the global objective of restricting climate change.

SYSTRA’s Carbon Reduction Plan also has a short-term target to reduce Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 80% by 2025 and is built around 6 key areas.

As a specialist transport and infrastructure consultancy, addressing global climate change and minimising carbon emissions is at the heart of SYSTRA’s sustainability mission. The SYSTRA Ltd Carbon Reduction Plan aims to significantly reduce our carbon emissions, ultimately achieve Carbon Net Zero status, reduce the impact of our transport advice and designs on the environment and encourage our staff to lead lower carbon lifestyles.

Nick Salt, CEO, SYSTRA Ltd
SYSTRA Carbon Reduction Press Release Download Press Release
Avonmouth ERF Facility

The plant, which is currently receiving non-recyclable waste including from Somerset Waste Partnership (up to 120,000 tonnes) and the West of England Waste Partnership (120,000 tonnes), has been designed to divert 320,000 tonnes of this residual waste away from landfill. The ERF will also generate up to 307GWh of electricity annually which will power the facility itself and export enough energy to power the equivalent of 84,000 homes.

SYSTRA, have been the civils design lead on the Avonmouth ERF project for over three-years. In this time, we have delivered the detailed design for the structural, architectural, highways & drainage, environmental and the electrical & mechanical services throughout the building. Initially, these works were delivered to Clugston, and later CNIM for the delivery of the outstanding design works, and to support with any additional design works.


SYSTRA are pleased to confirm the completion of our design commission, following the completion of the construction works. SYSTRA continue to support CNIM with the remaining Post Construction BREEAM accreditation (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), which follows the completion of the main works and handover into operational use.

The construction site has remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing the required government guidelines around social distancing for construction.

This facility is another important piece in the Somerset waste management puzzle. While we remain focused on reduction, reuse and recycling; having a means to ‘repurpose’ waste that cannot be recycled, rather than sending it to landfill, is a great leap forward. The handover is a great achievement and a milestone in our ongoing work with Viridor and other partners to decarbonise the county’s residual waste.

Mickey Green, Partnership Managing Director, Somerset

Viridor CEO Kevin Bradshaw said the company was pleased to have achieved this important milestone following other significant achievements at the site, including the first export of electricity to the grid in July.

Iain Thomas, Project Lead at SYSTRA Ltd said: “I’ve been in control of this scheme for circa 18-months, taking over from James Xieilleon. It has been a challenging yet rewarding scheme, as we have witnessed the facility emerge from the ground, developing into a prominent structure on the Avonmouth skyline. I would like to thank the team for their continued commitment to the delivery of this project through a challenging period.”

Hubberts Bridge Modular Platform for Network Rail

Working directly for NWR, SYSTRA developed the Civil, Geotechnical, M&E and Modular design for the platform, which is supported on piles. These piles were installed in advance of our works by AMCO Giffen, our construction client.

On Tuesday night of the 14th April 2020, all of the 7.32m long platform sections and 2no Ramp sections of our 6 Bay frame were transported from the adjacent Siding and lifted into position by a Road Rail Vehicle (RRV) supplied by SYSTRA. The platform was also set to Gauge during this possession.


Following the initial install of the 6 bay steel frames installed using RRVs, we proceeded to install the remainder of platform which included-

All works were completed at night when no trains were running and all activities were completed in 3 weeks.

This was a high priority project due to the existing platform being decommissioned in January because its foundations were failing, and the TOC/NR required a replacement as soon as reasonably practical. NWR believed the ideal solution would be SYSTRA’s product which led to our commission.

The platform is now complete except for the waiting shelter. Due to Covid-19 this item has yet to be installed, however the platform was entered into passenger service on the 1st June 2020. All works were undertaken in line with the requirements of Social Distancing and our COVID 19 risk assessment for this project.