Transport Planner

Job Description:

Transport planners make decisions about road, rail, and air transport networks and how they can best benefit the public.

Job Category:
Transport & Logistics

What you will do:

You’ll look at the impact of large and small scale transport issues on the public. This could be a village bypass proposal, or road safety measures outside a school.

You’ll plan and advise on transport policies for new systems and on improvements to existing ones.

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • simulating transport problems using computer models to work out solutions
  • analysing and interpreting data from transport studies
  • forecasting the impact of new developments like shopping centres
  • looking at schemes to manage traffic, like congestion charging or parking controls
  • studying accident ‘black spots’ to design road safety improvements
  • writing reports for funding bids and planning authorities
  • acting as an expert witness during public enquiries

You’ll also encourage people to use their cars less and walk, cycle or use public transport.


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of transport methods, costs and benefits
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

As well as:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Transport Planner, you should pursue an education in a related field, but there are no specific subjects required. However, certain subjects can provide a strong foundation for further studies in transportation planning. Transport planning involves designing, managing, and optimising transportation systems. Here are some subjects that can be helpful:

  1. Mathematics: A good grasp of mathematics is essential as transport planning often involves quantitative analysis, data interpretation, and modelling.
  2. Geography: Geography provides a foundation for understanding the spatial aspects of transport planning, including factors such as land use, infrastructure, and environmental impact.
  3. Physics: Physics can help you understand the fundamental principles of motion and forces, which are relevant to transportation systems.
  4. Environmental Science: Understanding environmental issues and sustainability is increasingly important in transport planning.
  5. IT/Computer Science: Proficiency in using software tools for data analysis, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), and modeling can be beneficial.

Post School

You’ll usually need a degree in civil engineering, economics, environmental science, or geography followed by a master’s qualification in transport planning or related subject.

Some employers may accept degree subjects like business studies or social sciences.

In the UK, you could start as a transport planning assistant if you have an HNC or HND in a similar subject area, or relevant work experience. In collaboration with the Transport Planning Society (TPS), the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) developed The Transport Planning Professional qualification which provides professional recognition of transport planners while equipping them with new skills.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work up to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

You may have extra duties in the evenings or at weekends.

You’ll be based in an office, but you’ll spend some time visiting sites and attending planning meetings.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience, you could become a senior transport planner or traffic engineer.

You could also move into town planning, policy development, or consultancy.