Transport planner (Degree)

Occupation overview

This occupation is found in small specialist firms to large multi-national and multi-disciplinary consultancies, to local authorities, Government departments and agencies.  Transport planners may be found in academia, research organisations, in providers of infrastructure and transport operators, and with developers and financing companies with transport interests.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to design and develop transport and travel systems, which are safe to operate, environmentally sustainable, and take into account access needs for everyone.

Transport planners apply advanced theoretical knowledge and methods of transport planning, analyse and interpret complex interconnected data, utilise transport modelling and appraisal techniques, determine the key outputs from proposed plans, how they meet customer specifications and fulfil local and national policies, and evaluate the impact of possible transport solutions.

Transport planners now increasingly integrate new technologies that improve the management of our transport systems to make more informed forecasts, support intelligent mobility and change people’s attitudes to travel, for example, through Smart Vehicle and Travel schemes.

They link transport on a local to international scale, which helps shape the future of our towns and cities, support economic growth, protect the environment, and improve social cohesion.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with members of their own team, each contributing to the delivery of transport projects, processes and policies. At this level, they will typically be working for a more senior transport planning professional and may have some line management responsibilities of technicians. Transport Planners often work with other professionals across their organisation, including those involved in planning, environmental assessment, engineering and construction, but they also liaise with a wide range of stakeholders including the general public and regulatory bodies.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for leading smaller projects, and/or playing a key role in a larger programme, managing their own work with a high level of autonomy, reviewing technical input from others, responding positively to complex and unpredictable situations, and be able to influence and make decisions that support others in or external to their own organisation.  They will operate effectively within organisational, financial and resource constraints, comply with policy and regulatory requirements, whilst maintaining high levels of professional conduct, ethical behaviour and integrity.


  • apply and comply with transport policy and planning practice for various modes of transport within relevant national, strategic and local policy contexts, and assess and evaluate the principal impacts of such policies on particular projects.
  • determine and apply appropriate methods to design transport schemes, providing for integration between different transport modes and systems, with the intention of providing efficient and secure transport services.
  • apply and comply with policies and regulations, including those relating to transport, health and safety, environmental, legal, planning and equality and diversity, and with their organisation’s formal procedures and practices.
  • effectively manage tasks and projects, to agreed time and resource budgets, through the application of appropriate project management tools and techniques.
  • apply, analyse and evaluate a broad range of appropriate transport statistics and data, utilising appropriate software and digital solutions, to inform and enable decision making within the development of transport solutions. This includes liaising with relevant organisations, such as the police, highway authorities and transport operators, to access a range of data sources and surveys for different modes or travel contexts as well as assessing data suitability, validity, quality, and accuracy relative to its intended application.
  • determine the method, manage the collection, analysis, evaluation, and monitoring of data used in the development or delivery of transport solutions. This includes assessing data suitability, validity, quality, and accuracy relative to its intended application.
  • use advanced techniques for the analysis of traffic and travel generation and demand, to enable the evaluation and monitoring of transport solutions, taking account of economic (cost-benefit) analyses.
  • select, specify, and use a range of transport models and forecasting techniques to support the interpretation of proposed transport solutions. This will include the evaluation of models for local and strategic transport and different modes of transport, using appropriate software packages
  • specify the data requirements and targets against which the effectiveness and impacts of a transport policy, plan or scheme can be measured. This includes designing, managing, and monitoring programmes to assess performance over time including the effects on the economy, and other factors such as environmental, accessibility, safety, security, or land use.
  • determine the needs of stakeholders in developing transport solutions
  • plan various stages of a commercial or operational management scheme in transport, such as initial project development, feasibility study, detailed design, procurement, funding, implementation or assessing effectiveness.
  • identify and recommend appropriate types of finance, or funding, for a transport scheme, and contribute to the bidding or procurement of transport planning contracts or projects. This can include establishing and agreeing on specifications, budgets, timescales, identifying and assessing possible risks, and preparing or evaluating technical briefs.
  • design, promote, implement and evaluate travel planning programmes to increase travel awareness and achieve changes in travel behaviour. This includes setting, monitoring and evaluating targets, identifying and assessing likely benefits, and communicating and liaising informatively and effectively with stakeholders.
  • plan, refine and analyse programmes of community involvement, stakeholder engagement or public consultations, to identify transport needs and to develop transport solutions.
  • communicate effectively orally and in writing in both formal and informal contexts. Prepare written reports and make presentations, participate and manage meetings, contribute to discussions, and listen actively to ensure the views of others are taken into account appropriately. Seek feedback on your own performance so you can look for ways to improve it.
  • apply appropriate transport, environmental impact and development planning laws, regulations and procedures, taking into account the evaluation of public testing and best practice, in gaining formal consent for transport solutions.
  • manage the delivery of high quality accurate, well-structured and organisationally compliant documents and recommendations for the work for which they are responsible and to a level appropriate for whom they are intended. This may include written reports, oral presentations, designs, models, calculations, reports and drawings, surveys designs, and calculations.
  • manage their own work independently within the limits of their authority and responsibility, making use of support and specialist expertise when appropriate. Develop and maintain productive working relationships with stakeholders and colleagues and support, guide, and motivate team members to enable them to achieve the team’s objectives as well as their own. Actively seek and provide feedback, support decision making processes, and manage any conflicts of interest that may arise in their work with integrity, fairness and consistency in decision making.
  • develop their own professional competence reflecting on their CPD records and develop an extended network to support the relevant professional organisations and maintain the required standard of, ethical behaviours and codes of conduct, associated with transport planning.


  • principles and processes of transport policy and planning practice for various modes of transport. This includes the key components and stages that should be followed in the development, approval and implementation of transport plans and the procedures for gaining approval for development schemes through the statutory consultation processes involving the public.
  • formal planning and design requirements for transport systems, which can include highways and traffic, buses, intermediate modes, rail, light rail, freight, airports or ports.
  • national, regional and local policies relating to transport planning governance and the key factors that affect them.
  • key principles and techniques of project initiation, management and evaluation, including risk, resource, health and safety, change control, and financial management.
  • regulations related to transport, health and safety, environmental impact, legal, development and planning and equality and diversity requirements.
  • principal sources and key characteristics of transport statistics, data, and their assessment techniques. This includes their relative strengths and weaknesses, any regulatory, formal and advisory requirements relating to their use, and best practice relating to the analysis and storage of, and access to data, and the potential use of new technologies such as Big Data, qualitative and quantitative behavioural research, GIS, and accessibility that may be used in transport planning.
  • main methods of data collection and assessment techniques and validity checks used in the planning, assessment, monitoring and evaluation of transport solutions for a range of transport modes. This must include the evaluation of the quality, quantity and relevance of the data available.
  • principles of traffic and travel generation, as well as the key factors that affect the demand for a range of transport modes, locally, regionally, and nationally.
  • principles of transport modelling and forecasting, design, application and interpretation (applying widely used specialist modelling software packages and related tools). This must include the evaluation of the quality, quantity and relevance and possible impacts in the model output.
  • principles and key characteristics of the standard assessment techniques widely used in the evaluation of transport solutions, including economic analyses and other assessment types, such as environmental, accessibility, safety, security, or land use.
  • principles and techniques used for monitoring and evaluation of the performance and impact of transport solutions.
  • inter-relationship between transport and economic activity, land use, climate change and the local environment as well as how transport systems and services can be integrated with other elements of development plans.
  • principles and key characteristics of the operation of a transport system or service, including their key features, design, and performance.
  • principles underlying bidding for or procuring contracts or projects, and their subsequent financing.
  • principles of travel planning, including those of behavioural change, the socio-economic, health and environmental consequences of travel by different modes.
  • principles underlying community involvement, stakeholder engagement, and public consultation in transport planning, including the main approaches used, and the assessment of the findings to identify transport needs and develop solutions.
  • preparation, production, review and presentation of high quality accurate information in well-structured technical and non-technical documentation for different interested parties including public and stakeholders, and clear recommendations in accordance with relevant strategy, policy, legal requirements, codes of practice and funding requirements.
  • importance of professional and ethical conduct relating to their role including the values and standards by which they maintain up to date technical knowledge and skills through CPD and knowledge of all relevant laws and guidance so as not to discriminate or breach the requirements of your organisation.
  • ways in which they can identify and access support and specialist expertise when required, both internal and external to your organisation and build networks to contribute to the broader profession.
  • key principles of how to manage and appraise their own personal and professional development, and how to guide and encourage colleagues in their professional development, by providing fair, regular and useful feedback and appropriate support when needed.


demonstrate a commitment to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of transport systems through innovative solutions that support economic growth and a more sustainable society.
demonstrate self-awareness of knowledge and skills, and only undertake work which they are competent to do.
demonstrate a strong personal commitment to health, safety, and welfare, equality and diversity, organisational, professional and ethical standards (including data protection, client confidentiality, anti-bribery and corruption) recognising obligations to society and the profession.
work effectively and independently, including time-management, prioritisation, organisation, and delegation whilst being aware of the needs of others.
have an open-minded and critical approach to work and achieving outcomes.
have an active and positive attitude to collaborative working, respecting the benefit that diversity can bring. Demonstrating confidence and flexibility in dealing with new and changing situations.
demonstrate personal effectiveness by taking responsibility for personal and professional development, for example, by demonstrating a lifelong commitment to learning and development, identifying appropriate continuing and professional development necessary to maintain and enhance knowledge and competence as a transport planner.

Entry Requirements

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.  

Entry requirements will be decided by individual employers and with the training provider. Candidates might have three A-levels, equivalent relevant Level 3 qualifications, or will have successfully complete the Level 3 Transport Planning Technician Apprenticeship. Candidates will need to be numerate and show a willingness to improve their numerical and mathematical capability.


Typical duration of apprenticeship (months): 60

Professional Qualifications/Recognition

This is a level 6 integrated degree apprenticeship, and all candidates must complete a level 6 BSc(Hons) Transport Planning degree throughout which they will need to demonstrate their mathematical and numeracy capability beyond level 2 throughout their Apprenticeship.


Title: BSc(Hons) Transport Planning

Level of qualification: 6 (Integrated Degree)

The name of all the Universities delivering the integrated degree:

University of the West of England (UWE)

Aston University


The standard must link to professional registration where this exists for the occupation.

Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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