SYSTRA supports Midlands Connect transport strategy development

Since 2017, we have been leading a team in the development of a multi-billion pound transport strategy that connects all parts of the East Midlands region to the HS2 station at Toton, the jobs at the adjacent Innovation Campus development and the wider growth areas, to maximise the predicted economic benefits of the High-Speed Rail network in this region. The strategy also ensures that the growth opportunities are fully inclusive of all communities in the area, including the deprived areas of the East Midlands region.

The study involved the assessment of options from a viability and engineering perspective, the identification of the strategy in consultation with the local authorities and other stakeholders, and the development of a set of business case documents and supporting evidence (which is the basis of the overall strategy and is being used to influence the DfT and the HS2 Hybrid bill by the councils).

This resulted in a multi-modal transport strategy that includes heavy and light rail, bus rapid transit, active mode and highway schemes that have been unveiled by East Midlands Councils and Midlands Connect.

Midlands Connect press release and BBC coverage.

Interest in walking and cycling increases as exercise is encouraged and people switch from public transport

Increasing demand for wider pavements and new cycleways is likely to continue, even after travel restrictions are lifted, reports SYSTRA Ltd in a new representative research study of 1,500 UK residents.

Many people are choosing to walk and cycle as part of their daily exercise ‘allowance’ and are swapping to active travel for other daily journeys during the current lockdown. Roughly four in five (80%) of them expect to continue this change.

One in five people expect to use public transport less once restrictions are lifted, and whilst ‘fear of getting ill’ is the main reason given, one in seven people say it is because they have found a new way to travel.

Many pavements are less than 2 metres wide and pedestrians and cyclists are struggling with social distancing. Road traffic levels have fallen significantly, so there is an obvious opportunity to share road space more equitably, and possibly make these changes permanent. Our research shows that active travel will increase, even after travel restrictions are lifted.

Paul Osborne, Associate (Cycling Lead), SYSTRA Ltd

The research study also reveals a wider shift in working patterns as one in six (17%) of UK full or part time workers believe they will work from home more once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted. This is primarily to save the commute time and cost, and to provide a better work-life balance.

This predicted change in working location is the reason behind a quarter (24%) of the predicted reduction in public transport use. In addition, two-thirds (67%) believe virtual meetings will replace some or all business trips or meetings, further reducing the need to travel.

Infographic depicting the interest in walking and cycling increase as exercise is encouraged and people switch from public transport
SYSTRA Press Release – Interest in walking and cycling increases as exercise is
encouraged and people switch from public transport
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Passengers say they could make fewer trips after pandemic

We found that 20% are predicting a decrease in their public transport use after COVID-19, compared with before the travel restrictions were put in place. Passengers also told us that this was because of concerns over getting ill, and because some commuters will be changing their working travel habits.


We are undertaking further behavioural modelling to understand the wider travel impacts on life after Covid-19 for UK cities and regions. More results will be added to this page, and our experts will be considering what the results could mean for wider society, climate change, different transport modes, different users, and across the different UK regions.

Public transport passengers say they could make far fewer trips after pandemic unless their needs are heardDownload Press Release
ICE Supervising Civil Engineer, Delegated Engineer & Mentor Forum

Supervising Civil Engineers (SCE), Delegated Engineers (DE) and Approved Mentors were invited to attend this forum which was an opportunity to receive an update on ICE approved training and professional development activities.

Employees who are currently mentoring, or planning to mentor others towards their professional qualification with the ICE (at EngTech, IEng or CEng) but are not formally registered as such, were also invited to attend.

The event took place after Elizabeth Thompson (Membership Development Officer for Yorkshire and the Humber) met with a group of our apprentices and degree apprentices in the morning.