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City of York Council - Head of Highways and Transport
Salary £61,518 - £70,019
per annum (pay award pending) plus relocation support

Welcome Letter from James Gilchrist

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in learning more about City of York Council (“the Council”) and our exciting new role for Head of Highways and Transport.

As the Director of Environment Transport & Planning, I know this is hugely exciting time to join the Council and to have the opportunity to strategically lead our innovative Highways and Transport service.  York is an ancient city with a rich heritage and is looking forward to its’ 2000 year birthday in 2071, so I am passionate about making sure that we provide the best transport infrastructure for all 200,000 plus residents, both now and in the future. This role represents a unique chance to leave a real legacy for York residents.

The Council is in the final stages of adopting a Local Plan which defines the next phase of the city’s growth and which addresses the infrastructure which York will need to help it grow. We have also begun drafting a Local Transport Strategy and Plan and against this backdrop, I am looking for a visionary leader who will help us deliver on our key challenges which are:

  • reaching net zero by 2030, which will require a reduction of 71% in York’s transport carbon emissions
  • strengthening the economy post-COVID-19
  • improving the health and wellbeing of residents
  • accommodating the growth set out in the local plan
  • addressing the existing shortcomings with transport in York as identified through consultation

This key role will be instrumental in driving forwards some of the major new projects we have in the pipeline – such as the £26 million York Station Gateway Project, the new station at Haxby and you will also work with partners such as Homes England and Network Rail on the York Central project. We are very excited about the £70 million project for first phase of dualling the Outer Ring Road which will move more traffic away from the city centre and create opportunities to be creative in the city. Looking ahead, we also need to focus on how we transform transport to achieve York’s ambition of being carbon neutral by 2030, so we are looking at projects to reduce the carbon emissions and have already secured £10 million funding from government with a similar amount pledged by First Bus to move more buses to electric power. 

The prospect of our devolution deal brings further opportunity and ambition, widening the scope of local decisions and investment for the benefit of those who live, work and visit York. The geography of our city surrounded by rural communities enables us to clearly measure the impact of our transport solutions, so we can focus on tangible outcomes and identify where further improvements can be realised.

I am looking for an ambitious leader who is innovative and forward thinking, with the ability to lead, inspire and motivate others to ensure we deliver on our plans. This unique role will provide you with the opportunity to make a significant difference as well as a platform to enhance your career in the longer term.  You will be pivotal to ensuring that we continue our successful approach to thinking about transport differently - we developed the first live transport model in the country and we are the only city to introduce a voluntary clean air zone. If you are keen to make your mark by working on some prestigious projects and eager to continue to help shape how transport is delivered across York, then I want to hear from you.

You will find that the role will provide you with the kind of professional challenge and complexity you will naturally aspire to as an ambitious leader - our size means that we are large enough to provide the rich mix of complexities facing local government, but at the same time we are small enough to enable you to get things done - we are not tied up by bureaucracy and red tape. We are a stable authority with a new administration, our resources and finances are well managed, and you will be welcomed by an experienced and hardworking team, united in our ambition for York residents.

Finally, York is a beautiful city and is regularly voted as one of the best places to live. It is well connected with great schools and a fantastic history – amongst other things, this role has responsibility for the famous city walls.

If you are interested in joining our team and are inspired to help lead the next phase of our journey, we look forward to your application. In the meantime, following an initial conversation with our recruitment partners at The Resourcing Solution I would be delighted to discuss this opportunity with those who might wish to learn a little more.

James Gilchrist,
Director of Environment Transport & Planning

About the Role

Job title: City of York Council – Head of Highways and Transport
Location: York / Hybrid
Contract: Full-time / Permanent
Salary: Salary £61,518 - £70,019 plus relocation support

This exciting role will involve acting as the Council’s most senior expert, providing provide strategic leadership, direction, management, advice and control in the delivery of the Council’s highways and transport infrastructure and functions in an effective, sustainable safe way. In particular it will:

  • Hold the statutory role of Traffic Manager on behalf of the Council and ensure the authority performs its network management duty and manage the Council’s Highway Authority functions.
  • Oversee and assure multiple programmes of capital works to maintain and improve the highway and transport network including the city walls.
  • Provide corporate advice on all Highways and Transport related matters that support the Council Plan as well as other Place, Asset Management, Regeneration, Economic and Carbon strategies covering the city and region
  • Support and provide professional guidance on complex issues within the Council to Committees, Members, the Corporate Management Team and other senior managers across the whole of the Council to ensure informed decisions regarding transport are made.

The new post holder will have the opportunity to take a fresh approach, to shape their services, and through their leadership integrate services to achieve clarity and united ambition.

For more information please refer to the Job Description here: Head of Highways and Transport - Job Description

About City of York Council

Now is an ideal time to join the City of York Council.

We are at the start of a decade long journey - our 10-year plan sets a clear vision for the city - by 2032 we will be a city that is vibrant, prosperous, welcoming and sustainable, where everyone can share and take pride in its success.

Working with city partners and listening to residents, businesses and stakeholders we have agreed five priority areas, with inclusive and sustainable transport networks key to the city’s continued success   Underpinning our 10 year vision and priorities for the city are three core strategies, health and wellbeing, climate change and economic growth, with each strategy identifying the co-benefits that will improve resident’s lives. The Climate Change Strategy has set ambitious objectives for our transport systems, with the new administration open to taking bold and brave steps to reduce traffic by 20% to reduce carbon emissions by 71%!

Our new administration has confirmed Four Core Commitments that will inform decision making and how we operate - health, equality, affordability and the climate.

City of York, England, UK

The new Council Plan (2023-2027) is currently under development and by the time you join us it will have launched.

We are made up of passionate and determined problem solvers working together for the benefit of York. We invest heavily in our staff, providing them with an environment in which they can flourish.

Being a people-centred organisation means investing in the talent and wellbeing of our staff and there are many different ways in which we make this happen, including:

Providing work which gives you the chance to make a difference to the lives of residents and colleagues;

  • Supportive management, who enable you to thrive and fulfil your potential;
  • Recognition for your hard work, through talent management and staff awards;
  • Support through the changing environment we are all living in;
  • Flexible working practices; and
  • A reward package which recognises your contribution.

As an organisation we promote professional development, hybrid working, employer supported volunteering and healthy working environments. We also offer a generous benefits package which includes flexi-time, term-time and part-time working options, 25 days annual leave increasing to 30 days upon completion of 5 years local government service, access to the Local Government Pension Scheme together with high street discounts and salary sacrifice schemes.

About York

We are proud of York’s status as one of the safest and best cities to live in the UK, engaging our 202,000 residents and 7 m visitors to live healthier, happier independent lives.

We are a vibrant, digital city at the heart of Yorkshire - the best of tradition and the modern. With excellent connectivity by road and rail, the neighbouring towns and cities of Leeds, Hull and Harrogate are in easy reach. National Parks and areas of areas outstanding natural beauty are on our doorstep, with their quaint villages and market towns, whilst the Yorkshire coast provides a retreat ideal for sunny days.

We are known for our considerable assets – we have our internationally important heritage, with strong creative industries and a significant cultural offering. We have strengths as a science city, and our digital infrastructure recognises us as the UK’s first Gigabit City. We have a young and highly skilled workforce, and lay claim to world-leading universities and some of the highest performing schools and colleges in the country.

We are ambitious and have set a vision for the Council that we will “establish the conditions that would make the city of York a healthier, fairer, more affordable, more sustainable and more accessible place, where everyone feels valued, creating more regional opportunities to help today’s residents and benefit future generations - where local businesses can thrive and residents have good quality jobs, housing, opportunities and access to quality public services. We celebrate and champion the diversity of our population and encourage everyone to play an active role in the city, so that our vibrant economy and rich communities can make York the acclaimed city it is. We are one of the safest cities in the country and offer some of best available education.

York Minster, York, England

A city of Sanctuary and Human Rights, our community is truly multicultural and diverse.  We are the first city in the North of England to set the aspiration to make our city an anti- racist and inclusive one. We are committed to tackling discrimination and improving customer experience in all aspects of services that the Council delivers, including public health, in order to have an impact and bring about positive change to our residents

Our thriving retail and visitor economy welcomes millions of visitors every year. We have been recognised as the ‘foodie centre of the universe’ and our Christmas market is the best in the UK. Our many awards include Sunday Times best place to live, Conde Nast city of best architecture, recently 240m reviewers voted us the 6th most welcoming place on the planet (and the only place in UK in the top ten!) and in 2018 YouGov found that we are the nation’s favourite city. We are friendly, community-spirited, festive and summer-friendly – what’s not to like?

If you are relocating to the area to take up the post, subject to the business case being reviewed, we will provide relocation support, see further details below.

Key Documents

Key Dates

Closing: Midnight Sunday 1 October

Shortlisting: Monday 2 October

Interview : 16 and 17 October (in person at the offices of City of York Council)

Contact us and apply now

For an informal confidential discussion about this opportunity, please contact Penny Keatings on 07811 411462 / or Leanne Auton 07815 028548 / our recruitment partners - The Resourcing Solution.

After an initial conversation, we can arrange a further conversation with James Gilchrist.


To apply please send your CV including a supporting statement in one Microsoft Word document along with a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form to Leanne Auton at

It is important that your CV includes: your full contact details (telephone, email, address), full employment history (name of employer, job titles, dates of employment and salary), full education history (qualification, grade, dates and place of study), explanation of any gaps in employment and the contact details of at least two referees including your current / most recent employer indicating whether you consent to us contacting each referee prior to interview. Please also provide details of your current salary and notice period.

Your supporting statement should outline your motivation for applying and how you meet the criteria for the role.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

To be eligible to apply under any of our guaranteed interview schemes you must meet the minimum criteria for the job.

By this we mean that you must provide us with evidence in your application form which demonstrates that you generally meet the level of competence required for each element within the skills and knowledge section within the job description.

Disabled People

As a Disability Confident employer we will guarantee an interview for all applicants with a disability who meet the criteria above.

The Equality Act 2010 states that someone is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on their ability to do normal daily activities. Please see How to apply guidance for further information.

Children and Young People in Care

As part of York's pledge to Children and Young People in Care, we will guarantee an interview for all looked after children or those care leavers who have been in care with City of York Council and are aged 25yrs or under and meet the criteria above.

Armed Forces Community 

As part of our commitment to the Armed Forces Community Covenant we will guarantee an interview for any veterans and their spouses who meet the criteria above.

(A veteran is anyone who has served, at any time and for any period, in Her Majesty's Armed Forces).

Within your supporting statement, please state whether you believe you are eligible to apply for either of the above schemes.

We believe in the importance of inclusion, which is why we are always working towards being a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive employer. We welcome applications from people of colour and ethnic minority groups to join and strengthen our senior management team. Learn more about our equality, diversity and inclusion work here.

We will not accept applications from agencies.

Your privacy: City of York Council is committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. Please refer to our Privacy Statement / Public Health Privacy Statement which explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy.