Department for

Nichols is proud to have provided strategic support to the Department for Transport on delivering its wide ranging portfolio since 2005. Our work with the Department for Transport has enabled them to continually improve transport for Britain.

The value of transport to society, communities, business and the economy has never been greater. The Department for Transport (DfT) leads this mission, defining the strategy and funding required, and sponsoring a programme of investments totalling over £50bn. We are proud to have supported the DfT in sponsoring its wide-ranging portfolio since 2005.

We played a pivotal role for the DfT over six years in the £5bn Intercity Express Programme, including Intelligent Clienting and programme sponsorship from concept stage, project management and deployment of a specialist commercial management team. To learn more about this programme, please see DfT Intercity Express Programme.


On Thameslink, we provided specialist programme management, systems integration, planning and commercial management to complement the DfT team, delivering significant cost and value for money improvements. We managed the procurement processes and established the cross-industry governance arrangements that still operate today.

We established the Strategic Roads Investment Projects division and were instrumental in redefining a sustainable £9bn roads programme, building closer relationships with regional stakeholders and implementing effective sponsorship solutions.

For Intercity West Coast, we supported industry plans to introduce a high frequency timetable and journey time improvements. We managed the business case for this development and procurement for the £1.5bn Pendolino Lengthening programme to deliver increased capacity benefits.

We helped to develop the £500m scheme to transform Birmingham New Street Station’s passenger capacity, facilities and environment.

Accelerating improvements
in transport

For DfT’s refranchising programme, we have advised on key aspects of a new style of franchise for Thameslink Southern and Great Northern, and designed an incentive regime on the new operator to facilitate the delivery of the Thameslink Programme. This included providing advice on risk allocation, working with stakeholders to define requirements for the operator and evaluating technical aspects of bids received.

We advised DfT on requirements on the operator for the Intercity East Coast franchise, to introduce new rolling stock and the operator’s support to the roll out of the European Train Control System. This included providing advice on the allocation of risk between parties under the franchise agreement, in particular the definition of Secretary of State Risk Assumptions.

In 2016, Nichols was appointed as Project Representative (P-Rep) on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport, in partnership with SDG and KPMG. P-Rep provides independent technical assurance that the High Speed 2 (HS2) programme is being delivered efficiently and effectively in order to achieve its overall objectives and expected benefits.  HS2 is a high speed rail link which will serve over 25 stations connecting around 30 million people.  It is a huge force for regeneration creating 25,000 jobs, bringing over £92bn of benefits, and acting as a catalyst for economic growth.

We provide the DfT with strategic, commercial and technical support and advice. Our support enables DfT to build business cases, secure investment approvals, design and award franchises and lay the foundations for the successful implementation of some of its most important programmes.


Transport for London London 2012 Olympic
and Paralympic Games
Crossrail Department for Transport Oslo Airport High Speed 2 Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Sellafield Office of Rail and Road

Iconic Stories

Jubilee Line Extension Highways Agency Docklands Light Railway Hong Kong West
Kowloon Expressway
AVIVA Crossrail Early Years Department for Transport Intercity Express Programme Transport for London
Capital Programmes
Delivery Capability
Hong Kong
Highways Department
Network Rail Black Diamond A Major UK Bank Anglo American