Celebrating 50 years of SYSTRA in the UK

December 2nd marks 50 years since SYSTRA began planning transport in the UK. Big anniversaries of all kinds invite us to take stock.

In the UK, SYSTRA Ltd can trace its origins back to 1968 when American transport planning firm AMV (Alan M Voorhees) together with Colin Buchanan and Partners won the prestigious Government contract to investigate how urban transport policy in the UK should respond to growing traffic congestion.

AMV was the first speciality transport planning firm of its kind in the UK and by 1974, it had won its 100th contract – with British Rail, undertaking a market research project looking at the effect of promotional ticket offers on patronage. The company changed its name to MVA in 1976, and grew from strength to strength – opening an office in Hong Kong and won projects throughout the world from Singapore to San Paulo.

By 1993, Paris-based SYSTRA had acquired MVA, which soon after began working on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL, now HS1), cementing its rail engineering business in the UK. Fast forward to 2014, MVA in the UK and Ireland was rebranded SYSTRA Ltd and subsequently absorbed SYSTRA engineering activities with a view to offer both consultancy and engineering services to our UK and Ireland Clients. 

In December 2015, SYSTRA Ltd acquired transport planning consultancy JMP Consultants Limited, thereby reinforcing our presence in the UK market, extending our transport studies and engineering services offer and increasing our portfolio of clients and partners.

In 2016, SYSTRA Ltd acquired SIAS, a company located in Edinburgh and Perth in Scotland with an excellent reputation for model-based strategic assessments and micro-simulations. This acquisition has since enabled the SYSTRA Group to build on its transport planning skills and increase our presence on the Scottish market. Today, JMP and SIAS operations are fully integrated within SYSTRA Ltd.

SYSTRA Ltd has now grown to nearly 450 staff offering transport planning and engineering services throughout the UK for all transport modes. 

We offer our sincere thanks to all the people – colleagues, clients and partners – that have supported the company over the last 50 years. As we embark on our next chapter, we look forward to working with you and many others in the future to continue to strive for excellence and our vision to be the Signature Team in transport.

Pascal Mercier, Managing Director of SYSTRA Ltd, said: “Clients have sought SYSTRA Ltd advice on projects from across the UK and Ireland, through the deserts of the Middle East reaching up to the bustling cities of the Far East; projects ranging from developing transport studies through modelling and appraisal, public transport studies, private development schemes, and, increasingly, rail engineering. As we reach our 50th anniversary, we can look back with pride on the past five decades and forward with confidence and enthusiasm to SYSTRA Ltd prospects in the years ahead.”

We will be celebrating our successes over the coming months, keep a look out on Twitter and Linked-in #SYSTRA50.

To read more about how our company has evolved over the past 50 years, visit: https://www.systra.co.uk/images/documentation/50yrtimeline.pdf