Former Downing Street policy adviser Matthew Elson has joined consultant Atkins as its transport bid director and board member for its management consultancy division.

Elson has been part of the 15-member No 10 policy directorate, with specific responsibility for advising the prime minister on transport policy.

His role covered many of the key transport policy issues of the past three years and the 2004 transport white paper, which included road pricing, the London Underground PPP contract for upgrade of the Tube network, the exit from administration of Railtrack and its transfer to Network Rail.

Elson has also worked as associate principal for McKinsey & Company, a global business strategy consultancy whose clients include P&O and British Airways.

Elson’s first task at Atkins will be to head a joint-venture team, the Atkins EDF Energy Consortium, which has been shortlisted to deliver a major Birmingham highways maintenance and management PFI contract.

The successful bidder will maintain all roads and street lighting in Birmingham over the next 25 years.

In addition, Elson will play a lead role in the development of Atkins’ management consultancy division.

Elson said that Atkins was a market leader in transport and management consultancy.