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Highways Design Principal Engineer

Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council
Kingston Upon Thames (City/Town), London (Greater)
£50,031 - £55,155
Closing date
3 Mar 2024

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Highways Maintenance, Highway Design
Job role
Contract Type
Full time

Joining us, you get to work for not just one high performing London Borough, but two.

Kingston and Sutton councils have a number of shared services serving both authorities, with some teams and roles more focused on one council than the other, but the majority are shared across both, meaning you get multiple opportunities to learn from a wider pool of activities and two different political bodies. 

We work flexibly in both Kingston and Sutton offices, and support working at home or flexible working patterns that enable you to tailor your working and personal life. We provide the equipment and tools to enable you to work flexibly, and in return ask you to use that flexibility to be creative and ambitious in the services we deliver.

There are some really exciting things happening in both boroughs. In Sutton, we are developing the London Cancer Hub, a world leading cancer research and treatment hub that will bring together professionals from across different sectors to identify and test new treatments and therapies. Over in Kingston, we are undertaking the largest housing regeneration programme ever delivered in the borough, building new energy efficient housing that will transform some of our oldest Council owned housing. Both boroughs have publicly committed to doing what they can to tackle the climate emergency and are investing in new technologies and societal change that will help bring carbon emissions down and improve our climate impact.

You should choose Kingston and Sutton if you are looking for an opportunity that will challenge you to deliver more, support you to achieve personal ambitions, and expect you to put borough residents at the heart of what you do.

Kingston is a beautiful Royal borough with a historic setting on the banks of the Thames with excellent schools and a bustling retail centre, all surrounded by open green spaces such as Richmond Park and Bushey Park, former recreation grounds for Tudor Kings and Queens. The Council is controlled by a Liberal Democrat Administration and has a council plan “Greener, Fairer, Safer, Together”, that sets out a vision to be a vibrant, diverse and inclusive borough where residents are active, empowered, engaged and able to remain independent and resilient. The Council engages with residents through a number of forums and events through the year, and like Sutton plays a leading role in developing the South West Region of London.

Sutton is a well connected attractive part of London that has a reputation for excellent schools, green and leafy open spaces, and a history that drives a thriving heritage and culture offer through our museums and libraries. The Council is controlled by a long established Liberal Democrat Administration and has high ambitions set out in its corporate plan “Ambitious for Sutton”, that will ensure Sutton remains a great place to live, work and raise a family. The Council plays a leading role in a number of local partnerships and places great emphasis on engaging effectively with its residents, listening to local voices and making their message heard across London Government.

About the Role 1 

As a Highways Design Principal Engineer, you will manage the Design Team resources, delivery highway construction projects.

You will be working on all highways construction projects in Kingston and Sutton.  The services have an ambitious highways programme with increased budgets following successful bids to TfL and the DfT.  A normal day for the successful candidate with involve mentoring and coaching of their highways design team, helping them problem traffic and construction issues encountered as part of the programmes to modernise the highways infrastructure of Kingston and Sutton.

You will also be managing a team of 8 which include senior engineers, engineers and technicians. 

As we are a hybrid working organisation, you will be provided with a Chromebook and the expectancy is that you come into the office approximately between 2-3 days a week depending on project requirements. 

For an informal conversation about the role, please contact Chris Smith, Team Manager at

About Us 1 

The Design and Delivery Department is made of 25 staff delivering planned capital projects onto the ground from start to finish. The team is a multidisciplinary team of highway designers, planned maintenance engineers, street lighting engineers, traffic order officers, land surveyors and traffic survey officers. The team coordinates to deliver projects of varying sizes on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kingston and the London Borough of Sutton.

This is an amazing opportunity to work in a highway design team that covers all facets of delivery, from initial feasibility through detailed design to site supervision and contractor management. This is an unusual blend that the right candidate will flourish in. The newly created Design and Delivery Team allows synergy working with the capital renewals and street lighting teams with team members able to learn all aspects of delivery in a highway environment.

About You 1 

To be successful in this role, you will need:

  • Civil Engineer Degree or similar/relevant technical qualification, e.g., HND/HNC/Degree or significant equivalent experience.
  • Experience in delivery highway schemes from concept through to delivery.
  • Leadership experience which promotes approach to distributed leadership, empowering others to take ownership and accountability of outcomes.
  • Experience of contract management and administration.
  • Experience of attending committee and public meetings and advising customers and elected Members on Highways and Transport matters.
  • Proven experience of management of highways and transport projects and/or programmes.
  • Proven experience of financial management and associated systems and processes and management of large Capital and Revenue budgets, financing arrangements and meeting both programme and time requirements.
  • Broad knowledge of the external influences on the organisation and how they relate to the role.

For more in depth information about the role, please refer to the role profile attached.

Our Offer To You 1 

As an organisation that values and nurtures talent, we’re committed to helping you fulfil your potential and will offer you a supportive, friendly and collaborative environment to grow and develop your career and skills. We’re constantly striving to improve our ways of working so putting your ideas across however big or small; will be fully encouraged and supported by your colleagues and our dynamic and experienced management team.

In addition we offer a modern and flexible working environment for our staff supported by our IT infrastructure, Google Chromebooks and Google Apps, which have acted as a key enabler for collaborative and streamlined working. We operate hybrid working, a flexible working model which allows staff to work from a variety of locations and staff are not required to work within the office 5 days a week. It enables staff to achieve a work life balance whilst still meeting the needs of the organisation.

Employees have access to a wide range of benefits, some of which include:

  • Generous annual leave entitlement plus bank holidays (pro-rata if part-time working hours apply)
  • Three volunteering days per year in Kingston or Sutton
  • Flexible and agile working arrangements
  • Comprehensive learning and development programme
  • Discounts on a range of local shops, restaurants, gyms and leisure centres
  • Interest free season ticket loans
  • Local Government Pension Scheme
  • Bicycle loan facilities and cycle to work scheme
  • Zip car scheme
  • Free eye tests and contribution towards glasses
  • Confidential wellbeing and counselling support
  • Subsidised gym membership

Application Process 1 

Please apply online outlining what skills, abilities and experience you can bring which makes you an ideal candidate for this role. Please ensure you refer to the requirements outlined in the job profile when completing your application.

The closing date is given as a guide. We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you complete and submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. 

We are committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) so all personal information that can identify job applicants e.g. name, title etc is completely anonymised during the shortlisting process. Our hiring managers review applications based on the knowledge, skills and experience demonstrated in your application, and how well these match the job profile. Our HR Shared Service with Sutton Council was recently recognised nationally for having the ‘Best Inclusion and Diversity Programme’ at the PPMA Excellence in People Management Awards 2023, something that we’re incredibly proud of.

Hiring managers are encouraged to ensure that their interview panel is diverse, and representative of a range of protected characteristics, to help remove unconscious bias and ensure candidates are treated fairly during the selection process. Some characteristics may not be obvious, but our panels are diverse wherever possible. We have a number of measures in place to inform and support our approach, including mandatory EDI and unconscious bias training for all staff, safer recruitment training for diverse panel members, engaging with our staff networks and encouraging allyship. We are fully committed to removing barriers and enhancing the diversity of our workforce.

Principal Engineer Role Profile final.pdf – 61KB

To apply please click the Apply Now link below.




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